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Dallam Futures – 5 in 5 event

Sixth Form News ·
Employability skills

The 5 in 5 event was all about employability skills. Our Year 12 students had a carousel of four different employers to work round who helped them to understand key employability skills and the fifth slot was with our careers coordinator, Rob Blyth, to tackle the importance of written communication when applying for universities or employment.

The companies represented were:

We asked our representatives from each of the four companies what route they took following GCSEs and what would be the top three skills they would look for when hiring a new employee.

Amy Kitching, Pelta Medical Papers

Pelta Papers’ products are used in food packaging and sterilised packaging for medical products.

Amy went to Dallam School and then continued at Dallam Sixth Form. After her further education, she went into industry.

Amy’s top three:

  1. Being able to prioritise your workload
  2. Having great communication skills to work with people internally and with external stakeholders
  3. Being flexible at work – showing that you have a can-do attitude.

I was hired because I could show my employer that I had done lots of different work and I had the right attitude. Now I’m in my role I could teach new staff the knowledge and skills they need to do the job, but they have to have the right attitude to start with.


Charlotte Webster, The Gilpin Hotel

The Gilpin Hotel involves a huge variety of roles including customer facing roles, administration and estates management.

Charlotte grew up in Cumbria, did her A Levels and went onto study at university in Manchester.

Going to university in Manchester was a great move for me. After growing up in Cumbria and then being exposed to a world of new experiences, people and cultures in Manchester gave me a great insight into how to relate to and get on with lots of different types of people.

It’s important to get the right people skills because as an employer we can support our employees on the job learning through apprenticeships.

Charlotte’s top three:

  1. Communication – this is the top skill that we look for so that all departments can work effectively together
  2. Being reliable
  3. Having a passion for the role
  4. (and squeezing in an extra one….) Being ready to learn


Matt Jones, Baillie Gifford

Baillie Gifford is an investment management company. Matt works as an ESG analyst. This means looking at a company’s ‘environmental, social and governance’ aspects before deciding on its long-term investment potential. It’s a complex issue – so watch their video to help explain it. Matt went to Dallam School and Dallam Sixth Form, then went off to study Geography at the University of Oxford. Before joining Baillie Gifford, Matt worked for an environmental consultancy with Mike Berners Lee.

Matt’s top three:

  1. Curiosity
  2. Braveness
  3. Patience

To be the right person for Baillie Gifford you need to show that you are interested and have a passion to learn and find out more. Being brave means being able to communicate your ideas to people who might not agree with what you’re saying. Patience is essential because we work with some businesses for a number of years, this is not a job that’s necessarily about seeing immediate results.


Alex Chesters, The Outdoor Picture Palace

After studying at Dallam Sixth Form Alex took a gap year on the GB Olympic Development Rowing Scheme. After that he went into industry. Alex is an entrepreneur, and he started The Outdoor Picture Palace. Here are what he believes are key skills for being an entrepreneur.

Alex’s top three:

  1. Networking
  2. Research
  3. Taking risks

If you’re passionate about doing something, make sure you do your research – this can be through talking to people, books and online. Networking is essential to find information and advice as well as a way to make your business or career a success. I would encourage anyone to go and speak to people to ask for work experience in the field that interests them. Don’t follow your friends, follow your passion.

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