Business mentors help Hethersett High School students

Students put on their best interview outfits in Hethersett for a day aimed at giving them an edge when it comes to entering the world of work.

The thoughts of 150 Year 11 pupils at Hethersett High School turned away from exams on Thursday and on to CV writing, application forms, and interview techniques when more than 25 professionals gave up their time to help them get ready for further education and career prospects.

Volunteers including financial workers, bankers, magistrates, and other organisations gave their advice as part of a series of workshops organised by the school and the Norfolk Education Industry and Commerce Group (NEICG).

The 'preparing of opportunities' day encouraged students in their final year of compulsory education to arrive as if dressed for an interview and spend the day with a local business mentor to polish their CV, practice interview techniques and ensure they fill out application forms correctly.

The day culminated with a series of mock interviews, which school staff hope will stand them in good stead for the college and sixth form application process and for when they start applying for jobs.

Mike Masters, deputy headteacher at Hethersett High said it was the third year the school had invited the business mentors to help students.

'The feedback we have had from the students is that it has been superb and the bit they like the best is the mock interviews. By working together, we are making sure it is not Hethersett students adding to that list [of unemployed],' he said.

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Trevor Jolley, business manager for NEIGG, added that the mentors were giving advice as simple as how to conduct the right hand shake at the start of an interview. He added that a few basic skills would help give them the edge over other young people.

'We get them to think about what an employer is looking for and make them think about what makes them different and look at their strengths and weaknesses.'

'There are more than a million 16 to 24-year-olds unemployed at the moment and that is something to be quite worried about. For every vacancy, companies are inundated with applications and if you get it wrong from the first contact, you do not stand a chance,' he said.

Representatives from Aviva, NatWest, Lovewell Blake, Woodforde's Brewery, and other employers gave up their time for the workshops.

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