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Students get lessons in real life from the professionals

PUBLISHED: 16:21 16 July 2018 | UPDATED: 16:21 16 July 2018

Business leaders turned teacher for the day at Northgate High School. Picture: Jordan Holder

Business leaders turned teacher for the day at Northgate High School. Picture: Jordan Holder

Archant

Making the jump between school and employment can be daunting, which is why year ten students from Nothgate High School spent a day getting on-the-job insights from key figures in the local business world before they embarked on their Work Experience programmes this week.

Kids getting a lesson in business skills at Northgate High School. Picture: Jessica hillKids getting a lesson in business skills at Northgate High School. Picture: Jessica hill

A series of workshops were held at the school on Sidegate Lane in Ipswich on Friday. They were organised by the Careers & Enterprise Company, an organisation tackling social mobility in Ipswich through employer engagement.

“There’s definitely a chasm between what kids learn at schools and the skills they will need in the modern workplace,” explained Enterprise coordinator Jordan Holder. “Schools teach the curriculum, but our role is to prepare young people for the fast-changing world of work.”

Workshops were led by volunteers including Ben Miller from Konica Minolta, Chris Green from StrategiQ, Jonathan Burl of Concertus Property Design Consultants and life coach Tracy ward.

“One workshop on soft skills taught pupils what a good handshake feels like, and what skills are needed to perform well in an interview,” Mr Holder explained. “Another session, on technology, gave kids the lowdown on the sharing economy - and why we have Netflix now instead of Blockbusters Video stores.”

Nadine Thompson, a service adviser for Ipswich car dealership John Grose, talked to the teenagers about the kinds of qualities her clients appreciate. “I only left school six years ago myself, so its strange coming back,” she said. “It helps me to help them, because it builds up my confidence in public speaking.”

Students had to turn up to school wearing the attire they’ll be wearing for their work experience. The school’s head of careers, Claire Gray, said: “A lot of them have really made an effort. They seem to be really enjoying it.”

This week, Charlie Jones, 15, is getting his first taste of the world of work as an assistant at Norwood Care Home on Park Road, Ipswich. “I learnt in the workshops that you have to choose what your career priorities are - earning a lot of money but not enjoying your work as much, or enjoying it more but not earning as much,” he said. “I decided its more important for me to have a job I enjoy.”


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