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‘It’s a two-week snippet of what to expect in the future’ - North Walsham students enjoy work placements

Brandon Thomas drives a Broads Authority boat on the river in Norwich. Picture: NWHS

Brandon Thomas drives a Broads Authority boat on the river in Norwich. Picture: NWHS

Archant

Employers have been praised for embracing a work experience programme, after all 127 Year 10 students at North Walsham High School found placements.

Ollie Shield at work in the kitchen at the Amber Bar and Grill at Cromer Country Club. Picture: NWHS Ollie Shield at work in the kitchen at the Amber Bar and Grill at Cromer Country Club. Picture: NWHS

The town’s high school students spent two weeks in a wide variety of workplaces, learning not just about individual jobs, but about what the world of work looks like, and what skills and disciplines are required to succeed in a real job.

Kate Lawn, who co-ordinates the work experience programme at NWHS, said: “Work experience gives our students valuable lessons about things like getting up on time, working with others, problem solving and dealing with people.

“Taking them out of school and out of their comfort zone gives them experiences they couldn’t have in the classroom. It’s a two-week snippet of what to expect in the future.

“Work experience is also invaluable in helping young people make career choices. Our students are very different when they come back from their work experience placements.

“We see a dramatic change in their confidence levels, and for many, it puts into sharp focus what they are working for in school.”

Mrs Lawn also urged employers to consider taking students on work experience next year.

One of the students taking part, Brandon Thomas, 15, from Mundesley, spent time with the Broads Authority on a patrol boat.

Working from 8am to 8pm each day, he said: “Every day was different – I hadn’t realised how many different types of people you get to deal with on an urban riverway.

“I particularly enjoyed dealing with customers and meeting people. Being able to interact with all sorts of people has improved my confidence.”

Ollie Shield, 15, from North Walsham, worked in the kitchens of the Amber Bar and Grill at Cromer Country Club.

He said: “I ended up working 10am to 9pm, which was tiring. It was pretty full-on, with mornings spent prepping vegetables, and then really frantic at meal times. I was thrown right into it, cooking dishes such as crab starters, steaks and Stroganoff.

“I had to learn a lot of skills from scratch, from knife skills to presentation of food.”

Any employer wanting more information about the school’s work experience programme should contact Kate Lawn at lawnk@nwhs.uk

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