National Careers Week 2024

National Careers Week is a one-week celebration of careers guidance and free resources in education across the United Kingdom. The campaign aims to create guidance activity for young people at what is a very important stage in the academic calendar. The campaign aims to illuminate potential pathways for students across the country.

Here at Signature, this campaign gives us an opportunity to highlight the varying careers that a BSL qualification can equip you with. BSL is not only a fun language to learn, but it also provides you with the necessary skills to thrive and truly make a difference.


Start learning with Signature today, to kickstart your career:

Careers include:

  • Sign Language Interpreter
  • Sign Language Translator
  • TV Presenter
  • Sign Language Teacher
  • Lipspeaker
  • Deafblind Interpreter

Why learn with Signature?

Signature is a registered charity and the leading awarding body for deaf communication qualifications across the UK.

Here at Signature, we have helped over 500,000 people to learn British Sign Language and communicate better because of our qualifications.

Gavin Lilley feature:

To learn more about a career in BSL, Signature got in contact with Gavin Lilley, a teacher and assessor of BSL. Additionally, Gavin is a brilliant comedian who has toured all over Europe, using a range of sign languages.

  1. How has your Deafness impacted your career?

It has actually been really helpful. Despite the fact that deafness has negative connotations in wider mainstream society and the medical establishment is striving towards its eradication- we are part of the healthy spectrum of diversity and contribute toward the betterment of humanity as a whole. This is how I see my career- I wouldn’t have been able to share my perspectives and skills professionally If I wasn’t deaf.

  1. For those who are thinking about making a career out of their sign language qualifications, what advice would you give them?

It is important to remember that language and culture go hand in hand- either would struggle without the other. So, the more exposure you have to the culture, more linguistic knowledge is accumulated, pushing your potential to the limits and beyond. This can be done by partaking in CPD training, attending social, academic, or professional conferences and events, and a vigilant tracking of current social changes. This would benefit several certain career paths such as BSL teaching and interpreting. On a softer note, fingerspelling can take years to master, so practice daily.

  1. How can workplaces make their spaces more deaf-accessible?

Each deaf person is different so their accessibility requirements would vary. But a common issue is that the feeling of being involved as opposed to being excluded and isolated from the work environment ought to be maintained. The best way to achieve this is to understand and meet the communication needs of the individual, whether it is through an interpreter, written text, or lip reading. The initial thing is to ask the person themselves and not to assume what works best and rely on more generalised sources of information, though many of these do give logical solutions.

  1. Why is it so important that companies make their company and staff members deaf-aware?

Deaf people are an integral part of society, so by understanding their needs and spreading this knowledge, social and professional connections would improve. The work environment would be more pleasant and give people contentment- deaf people’s mental health is an ongoing issue and by spreading awareness and even learning a little BSL would have lasting impacts.

  1. What are some of your favourite aspects of teaching BSL?

I strive to make my classes enjoyable and informative, and when I see this has been achieved it gives me a good feeling. I particularly enjoy teaching placement, aspect, and manner as these are the elements of BSL grammar that has the strongest impact on the learning curve and when I see these being applied by the students themselves, it gives you a sense of achievement.

The best thing I experience from teaching is seeing students develop from someone who would struggle to sign a few basic phrases to one that signs fluently and confidently in front of audiences. This is the most rewarding thing about being a teacher indeed.

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