A pioneering scheme to get more enterprising students into workplaces before they leave school or college was launched at a Norfolk academy on Friday.

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Mid Norfolk MP George Freeman, officials from the Norfolk Way, 25 business leaders and pupils at Wymondham High gathered to mark the emergence of a new work club to help young people to realise their dreams and gain a valuable insight into the world of work.

The creation of the Norfolk Way Work Club at Wymondham High will form a link between employers and the workforce of the future to help inspire and encourage their entrepreneurial spirit.

Mr Freeman, who founded The Norfolk Way in 2007, to promote enterprise within Norfolk’s rural economy, said the scheme aimed to differ from work experience and not be as structured as an apprenticeship with “zero bureaucracy”. He added that he hoped the pilot work club could be adopted by other schools in Norfolk.

“This is a difficult time for school leavers, especially in the rural parts of Norfolk. The aim of this work club is to create opportunities for sixth formers and school leavers to access one-off, part-time, occasional work experience with local businesses,” he said.

Funding from membership from The Norfolk Way has also enabled a bursary scheme to be set up to help school leavers find alternative routes to get on the employment ladder.

Justin Smith, director of enterprise and community at Wymondham High said the academy was beginning to open its doors to business. “Academically we are an exceptionally strong school, but in many cases they [the students] want to engage with real life businesses,” he said.

3 comments

  • As someone who is involved with a charitable trust which tries to forge closer links between education and industry, I am all for this sort of initiative. It is essential that young people can make informed decisions about their future, and that means understanding what different industries there are and the different employment opportunities they can offer. The best way for them to find out, is to hear first hand from people already working in a particular sector about what they do. Schools have no idea about some of the amazing industries on our doorstep - so we need to help them to support their students. If we can show the students how to research a sector for themselves, using the same research skills we use in industry to scope out a market, then the young people are empowered to make informed decisions about their future. Despite what you may read in the press about the lack of job prospects for young people, whilst it is true for some sectors, we know this is simply not the case in others, with some really struggling to recruit because of a lack of appropriately skilled personnel. but if the youngsters they don't know about it now can they select the right subjects and training pathway. We need more of this type of initiative.

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    N

    Monday, October 15, 2012

  • Such schemes should be promoted in all our schools, it has to do with young teenagers and their future, but Mr. Freeman chose to make a point by using an academy.

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    ingo wagenknecht

    Monday, October 15, 2012

  • .....to access one-off, part-time, occasional work experience with local businesses......What about if the company offers the student a full time job immediately? Is that an educational success or a failure?

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    Fly Tipper

    Tuesday, October 16, 2012

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