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Exploring careers creatively with Hastings Direct

Year 10 students from Rye College, St Leonards Academy, ARK William Parker Academy, and Helenswood Academy attended a Creative Café at ARK William Parker Academy on 4 December 2013.

Hastings Direct fielded a range of professionals to inspire the young people with information about future careers.  Professional areas included community liaison, HR, management, finance, underwriting, and claims.  Each professional set a creative challenge for young people to introduce them to their area of work.

Hastings Direct is the one of the largest private sector employers in East Sussex employing approximately 1,600 staff.  This Café was conceived as a pilot to explore the Creative Café model as a structure for young people to meet other kinds of professionals, in this case from across one company, Hastings Direct.

This event was developed with support from Ian Noble, Business Connector for Business in the Community and Jay Wootten, Community Liaison, Hastings Direct.   The schools were coordinated by the Education Futures Trust.

More information on Creative Cafés.

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I enjoyed that we interacted with each other for a better learning experience.


I didn’t know what people had to do in most of their jobs and it was interesting to understand how insurance risk is calculated and the finance behind it.


We were delighted to be asked to play a part in running this Creative Café in Hastings and Rother.  The students from the schools were superb and seem to have learnt a lot about what is involved in making a company function and be successful. We look forward to being a part of future events.

Jay Wootten, Community Liaison at Hastings Direct