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"The College attaches great importance to the CEIAG programme, which is seen as an integral part of the overall pastoral care provision in the College."

St. Malachy’s College Careers Department is dedicated to excellence in the provision of Careers Education Information Advice and Guidance (CEIAG) for all pupils at the College.


It seeks to ensure that each pupil has access to a range of relevant, stimulating and supportive learning experiences to support him develop his self-awareness, explore appropriate career pathways, make well-informed decisions, and create, review and implement a realistic career plan.


The College attaches great importance to the CEIAG programme, which is seen as an integral part of the overall pastoral care provision in the College. It is committed to providing impartial careers guidance for all pupils and is guided by the principle that the interests of the pupil must be the first consideration in planning and implementing the careers programme.

Mr L McGuinness (Head of Department)

Mr C Johnston



QUB and University of Ulster          

  • Year 14 students attend annual open days

  • Year 13/14 students faculty/department events

  • Student Recruitment representatives visit the College each year to give talks to Year 14 students

  • Student Recruitment representatives visit the College each year to make presentations to parents and pupils at the Y10 GCSE and Y12 A’level Option Information Events

  • Representatives of Faculties and Schools attend our biennial careers convention

  • Subject representatives give presentations to groups of students

  • Careers teachers attend university seminars

  • Both universities provide free prospectuses for all Year 14 students

  • QUB provides Junior prospectuses for Y10 pupils


CAO Universities

  • Schools liaison officers from the Southern Universities (TCD, UCD, DCU, DIT) visit the College on a rotating basis to give talks to Year 14 students on the CAO application process and on the range of courses available at their institution.          

  • Representatives attend the biennial careers convention


St. Mary's University College                            

  • Year 13/14 students attend open morning                 

  • Careers teachers attend annual seminar

  • Representatives provide interview preparation for potential applicants

  • Representatives support the Year 14 mock interview programme

  • Representatives attend the biennial careers convention


Scottish Universities                          

  • Representatives visit the College to give talks to Year 13/14 students


LJM University

  • Representatives visit the College to give talks to Year 13/14 students



  • Cambridge Trip to open days for potential applicants

  • Students attend ’Applying To’, ‘Cambridge Interviews’ and taster events

  • Visits by admissions tutors

  • Representative provides mock interviews for potential applicants                                      


Belfast Metropolitan College

  • Representatives support the Year 14 mock interview programme

  • Schools liaison officer attends biennial convention

  • Schools liaison officer visits the College each year to give talks to potential school leavers

  • School leavers are encouraged to attend open day


North Regional College

  • Representatives support the Year 14 mock interview programme

  • Schools liaison officer attends biennial careers convention

  • School leavers are encouraged to attend open day



  • Representatives support the Year 14 mock interview programme

  • Schools liaison officer attends biennial convention


Universities in the Netherlands

  • Representatives visit the College to give talks to Year 13/14 students

  • Representative to attend the biennial careers convention this year



Other Schools


  • Belfast Boys’ Model

  • Belfast Girls’ Model

  • Belfast Royal Academy

  • Cedar Lodge

  • Dominican College

  • Edmund Rice College

  • Little Flower Girls’ School

  • Loughshore Educational Resource Centre

  • Our Lady of Mercy Girls’ School

  • St. Gemma’s Girls School

  • St. Malachy’s College

  • St. Patrick’s College


The Head of Careers is the College’s representative on the CEIAG subgroup and served as Chairperson for the group in 2012-13. Staff and pupils in the College have made full use of the range of CEIAG opportunities made available through collaboration in the ALC.



Methodist College

  • Senior students attend annual Law, Medicine and Engineering conferences

  • Y14 students attend the annual Higher Education Convention



  • Senior students attend talks by Oxbridge tutors

  • Medical applicants have attended a MMI preparation workshop


Dominican College Fortwilliam

  • Students, staff and parents are invited to our biennial careers convention (a reciprocal arrangement)

  • Medical applicants have attended a MMI preparation workshop


Little Flower Girls School

  • Students, staff and parents invited to our biennial careers convention


Ludwig Wilhelm Gymnasium

  • Comenius partner school for our European Work Experience and Cultural Exchange Programme



  • At parents evenings and Options Events

  • Post A/As-level / GCSE advisory service in August

  • Biennial careers convention

  • Letters re Careers Programme, work experience arrangements, UCAS procedures etc

  • Written information regarding careers events students attend

  • End of module comment sheets

  • By appointment

  • College publications including Ab Intus, the Collegian, the College website

  • Involvement in a range of careers activities (mock interviews, work experience etc)



Past Pupils

  • The Careers department values the contributions made by past pupils and actively seeks to increase this aspect of careers provision. In recent years past pupil involvement has included:

  • Degree course presentations

  • Mock interviews

  • QUB Student President presentation - ‘The Student Experience’

  • Preparing for Independent Living presentation – The Chaplaincy at QUB

  • Meeting and accompanying pupils at Cambridge Open Days




  • Work experience programme

  • Biennial careers convention

  • Visits to places of work

  • Y14 Mock Interview Programme

  • Visiting speakers

  • Sentinus experiences of work programme

  • Charter Career Insight Days


Training Providers

  • Attendance at our biennial careers convention


The Head of Careers represents the College on the North Belfast BEP. The partnership works to strengthen the connections between schools and local employers. It provides a direct link for careers teachers to a range of representatives of local companies and an opportunity for these employers to support CEIAG in schools.                             


Professional Careers Teachers Association

  • St. Malachy’s is a member of the Northern Ireland Schools Careers Association (NISCA)

  • Head of Careers/Careers teachers attend annual conferences


IOD Work Shadowing Scheme

  • The careers department promotes this opportunity for Year 13 students to participate in the Institute of Directors Work Shadowing Programme


Rotary International

Each year a senior student is selected to represent the College in the Rotary Youth Leadership Development Competition

In order to provide a quality CEIAG programme, a wide range of contacts has been developed. The Careers Department is proactive in securing the support of parents/guardians, the wider College community, the DEL Careers Service, collaborative partnerships with other schools, representatives from Further and Higher Education, employers from Business and Industry and a range of other relevant bodies for the benefit of the pupil.


Although many teachers have specialist guidance roles within the school's pastoral care system the College recognises that all teachers have a role to play in the learning, personal and/or careers guidance of our pupils.


The Careers Department seeks to ensure that our pupils are facilitated at all stages of their education in the College to develop a positive attitude to career planning and are supported in actively exploring and experiencing potential courses and careers. 


Preparing for Success – A Guide to Developing Effective Career Decision Makers (DE – Jan 2009) states that ‘the overall objective of effective CEIAG provision is to enable learners to become effective career decision makers, empowered to manage their own career development successfully, confidently and with due respect and care for their own needs, those of others and of their wider communities.’


Evaluating the Quality of CEIAG provided by Schools, Colleges and Training Organisations (ETI 2009) states that ‘the overall aim of effective CEIAG provision is to enable learners become effective career decision makers, leading to increased participation in education, training and employment.’


The three themes which have been identified to support the aim of CEIAG are:


  • Self Awareness and Development:

Identifying, assessing and developing the skills and qualities necessary to choose and implement an appropriate career plan


  • Careers Exploration:

Acquiring and evaluating information and reviewing experiences to identify and investigate appropriate career pathways and learning opportunities in education and employment, locally, nationally and internationally


  • Career Management:

Developing skills in career planning and employing effective career decision making strategies to manage transition and make suitable career development choices with the appropriate support, advice and guidance.


In successfully addressing these themes, learners will be able to:


Self Awareness and Development

  • Identify an awareness of their skills, qualities, aptitudes and achievements based on their experiences, their potential and their future career aspirations

  • Recognise and explore their changing attitudes to, and interest in, the world of education, training and employment


Careers Exploration

  • Identify, investigate and explore the extent and diversity of local, national and international opportunities available in education, training and the world of work

  • Use their work related learning experiences to extend their understanding of the world of work and to recognise the skills, qualities and competencies needed for the workplace

  • Understand the changing demands of working life and responsibilities within the working environment

  • Obtain, evaluate and use effectively careers information gathered from a wide range of sources, which is relevant to their personal career preferences, aspirations and achievement


Career Management:

  • Regularly review progress against identified targets and record achievements

  • Develop career plans which take account of self awareness development, achievement as well as experience and knowledge of career exploration opportunities

  • Develop decision making strategies in order to make and implement informed, realistic and appropriate career choices

  • Successfully engage with transition and change

  • Develop their self-presentation skills


Employability Skills are the wide range of skills and capabilities, attributes and dispositions that will allow a learner to be employable, to sustain employment and to become a life long learner capable of realising their potential in the world of work.


While work-related learning in the College makes a significant contribution to the development of our students’ employability skills, the Careers Department recognises that all learning programmes can effectively promote the development of communication, numeracy, ICT skills, as well as other employability skills such as working with others, problem solving, decision-making, self-management and managing information. Within its repertoire of methods the Careers department employs active teaching and learning strategies and plans opportunities where students engage as active participants and take responsibility for their own learning.


Careers Advice and Guidance is the provision of impartial, learner/client-centered,

advice and guidance, to assist in making appropriate career decisions and choices, which are informed and well thought through. It enables people to apply their knowledge, understanding, skills and experiences to manage their career and make informed decisions.


While recognising that a range of informal advice and guidance opportunities exist in the College the Careers Department is committed to providing impartial learner centred advice and guidance both at key transition times and on request.  


A GCSE Option Booklet and a Sixth Form Prospectus are produced annually to help students make their subject choices. Transition students and parents are invited to Option Information events which aim to inform and advise.


On a more personal level all students in Year 12 have an individual careers guidance interview with a DEL Careers Adviser and students in Year 14 are invited to discuss their Higher/Further Education choices before completing their applications. Any student in the College may request a careers guidance interview with a Careers Teacher or with a DEL Careers Adviser at any time of the year.


The DEL Careers Advisers play a pivotal role in conducting guidance interviews and in providing a series of talks for school leavers moving directly into training and employment. Careers staff is also available for consultation after publication of GCSE and A/AS Level results in August.


The recently established ‘Enrichment Period’ for senior students is welcomed by the Careers Department. It has provided an excellent platform for visiting speakers from higher education etc. and adds another dimension to the provision of information, advice and guidance for these year groups.   

YEAR 8 - 9

Learning for Life and Work (LLW) of which Education for Employability is one strand, is a central element of the Revised Curriculum at Key Stages 3 and 4. The Education for Employability programme for years 8 and 9 is managed by the Coordinator for LLW, is delivered by several teachers and makes a positive contribution to the overall CEIAG provision in the College.


Although students are timetabled for ‘careers’ classes the Careers Department recognises that opportunities for careers-related learning exist throughout the curriculum and the contributions of all teachers and all subjects to the careers-related experiences of our students are both encouraged and highly valued. 


YEAR 10 - 12

The Careers programme for Year 10 -12 is delivered by the team of three careers teachers, and is supported by Careers Advisers, Mrs A Morgan and Ms K Tonner, from the Department of Employment and Learning (DEL). Scheduled classes, one period in the two-week timetable, are complemented by careers guidance interviews in Year 12, information evenings, visiting speakers and attendance at relevant careers events including careers conventions.  

YEAR 13 - 14

Students in Year 13-14 have Careers class for one period in the two-week timetable.

The focus for the majority of students is preparation for Higher Education but some are keen to explore and follow employment or other opportunities. The careers programme aims to meet the career planning needs of all.


All Year 13 students participate in the Work Experience Programme. This provides the opportunity to spend a week in a work environment of their choice during the second term.


Year 14 students participate in a Mock Interview Programme which aims to prepare them for an actual interview situation as well as supporting detailed course and career research and sound decision-making.


Students are encouraged to keep career plans under review throughout their senior school years and to use all resources available to them.


Work-Related Learning experiences provide the opportunity for planned and appropriate experiences of the world of work to increase learners’  motivation, develop their employability skills and give relevance to their learning programme. Appropriate experiences of the world of work can increase the learner’s motivation to learn across the curriculum and give relevance to their academic studies and increase their knowledge and understanding of the requirements of the world of work.


While recognising that work-related learning takes places through a range of activities, assignments and other experiences in the College, the Careers Department aims to provide each year group with a least one very focussed work related learning opportunity per year.


The Senior School Work Experience programme (including the recently introduced German Work Placement experience), the Mock Interview programme and a range of business insight and enterprise events for a variety of year groups are highlights in the Careers calendar and enhance the relevance of the learning programmes.


These experiences serve to motivate students, enhance their self-awareness, develop their career knowledge and career planning skills and ultimately help them make better informed decisions about their future education, training and employment.


As well as inviting a variety of visiting speakers to the College and running the biennial Careers Convention, the Careers Department organises a range of visits and encourages students to attend a wide variety of conferences, seminars and lectures outside school. Each year individuals as well as groups of students attend events such as: German Work Experience, University Open Days, Scholarship Seminars, Higher/Further Education Events, Careers Events (Accountancy, Healthcare, Pharmacy, Physiotherapy, Engineering, Law, IT, Media, Construction, Hospitality), Apprenticeship Presentations and Leadership Development Competitions.


Subject departments in the College also involve pupils in a range of visits, activities, seminars, competitions etc. which give pupils a subject related insight into the world of work and into opportunities in further and higher education.


Last years ‘Careers Diary’ which provides a glimpse of students’ careers related experiences is available here.


The Careers Department and the Careers Advisers from the Careers Service of Northern Ireland work in partnership to ensure the best provision of CEIAG for our pupils.




In January 2009 the Department of Education and the Department for Employment and Learning launched ‘Preparing for Success’ the Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance (CEIAG) Strategy.  The strategy endorsed the partnership model of careers guidance as the preferred model of provision for young people. 


This means that, schools, colleges and training suppliers take responsibility for providing careers education and an external agency (in this case the Careers Service) takes responsibility for providing impartial careers advice and guidance. 


To facilitate this, a ‘Partnership Agreement’ in which the level of service is specified is drawn up each year. (See appendix for full Partnership Agreement)


The overall aim of the agreement is to establish a framework to ensure all our pupils have access to high quality Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance (CEIAG) and to enable them to become effective career decision makers.


The objectives of the agreement are:

  • To support the delivery of an impartial CEIAG programme

  • To enable learners to make well informed and appropriate career decisions

  • To provide tailored CEIAG, promote inclusion and increase appropriate participation in education, training and employment

  • To promote continuous improvement of CEIAG

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