Norwich business mentors help Open Academy pupils with their CVs

Open Academy students spend the day with business mentors. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Open Academy students spend the day with business mentors. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Business mentors offered their expertise to students at the Open Academy in Norwich during an event to encourage them to consider their future career paths.

Open Academy students spend the day with business mentors. Tom Sandland, an internal accountant from

Open Academy students spend the day with business mentors. Tom Sandland, an internal accountant from Mills & Reeve LLP with Erin Escott, 15. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

A total of 130 Year 10 pupils from the academy have just completed two weeks of work experience in a range of organisations across the city.

Yesterday's event, organised in partnership with Business in the Community, was an opportunity for the students to reflect on their work placements and to begin crafting their CVs.

One student Erin Escott, 15, spent two weeks at Café 33, in Exchange Street, Norwich, and enjoyed her time there.

She said: 'Everyone was so welcoming and even when it was busy we still had a laugh.'

Open Academy students spend the day with business mentors. Lucy Howard a solicitor from Mills & Reev

Open Academy students spend the day with business mentors. Lucy Howard a solicitor from Mills & Reeve LLP talking to some of the students. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant


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'It's scary to think about leaving school and writing a CV, but it is exciting at the same time.'

Katrina Parsons, human resources manager at Norwich-based LSI Architects, led a CV writing masterclass which gave students the inside track on what employers are looking for.

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She explained that being part of this event is at the core of the business.

She said: 'Our philosophy is about growing our own talent.

'It is part of our ethos that we are able to engage with students at a young age.'

LSI Architects is one of a number of businesses which have links with the academy, and yesterday's workshop was part of a series of events which aim to prepare students for work.

Justin Ripman, senior partner at Mills & Reeve LLP, said that the company is delighted to be involved with the academy.

He said: 'It's a real privilege for us to be able to work with the students and to help what we hope may be some of the next generation of business leaders.'

Principal of Open Academy, Jon Platten, explained that it is important to enable students to reflect on what may be their first taste of working life.

'We work together with our business partners when our students come back into school to maximise the benefits,' he said. 'It allows them to end the process more prepared for the world of work.'

He also added that he visited the students during their placements all over Norwich and found that they were extremely positive about working.

Do you know a business that is helping young people? Email education correspondent martin.george@archant.co.uk

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