Businesses are being urged to take part in a work experience scheme to help youngsters get a vital foot on the career ladder.
Blackpool Sixth Form is appealing to firms across the Fylde to take part in its Career Academy Programme.
They need more companies to offer a four-week paid internship, or work experience opportunity for A-level students to help get them fit for the world of work.
Working in partnership with national charity Career Academies UK, Blackpool Sixth runs the Career Academy programme that is designed to complement students’ studies.
It includes one-to-one mentoring with employee volunteers, regular workshops, visits and lectures hosted by business partners, and the internships.
Natalie Dobson, employer liaison officer at the sixth form college said: “We are committed to giving our students the best opportunities possible and the Career Academy programme really helps to inspire them and open their eyes to the range of different options open to them.
“Being able to connect regularly with someone from the working world gives them a fresh perspective on their future career. The internship can often be a real turning point for them, motivating them to work harder and aim higher.”
Blackpool-based NST Travel Group, Santander, DWP, Wyre Council, and Carers Trust Fylde Coast are among the local and regional organisations who have worked with students from the college to raise their aspirations and put the skills and knowledge they have learnt into practice.
Steve Craven, General Manager of NST Travel Group, said: “The energy and excitement that comes from having the students at your business, interested in what you do, provides a massive boost of excitement on the floor.
“By offering internships you can also provide opportunities for your staff to experience line management and one-to -one mentoring, and you’ll often find the interns bring a fresh perspective, a new way of working, a new way of looking at a problem that will benefit your business, long beyond them leaving.”
Around 85 per cent of the Career Academy graduates go on to university, the remainder go into employment or work-based training, such as higher apprenticeships.
Louise Herd, a former student at Blackpool Sixth Form and a Career Academy Graduate, has gone on to study Accountancy at Manchester after completing a paid internship at Carers Trust Fylde Coast in the summer of 2012.
She said: “It was a great opportunity to gain on-the-job experience to give me the edge in such a competitive environment as well as helping me to develop professionally.”
For details contact Natalie Dobson on (01253) 307904 or email Natalie.firstname.lastname@example.org.