It’s not often teenagers find themselves facing a tough interview panel as they apply for high powered jobs.
But that’s just what students from two Bournemouth colleges experienced when they were given a taste of real life in a tough job seeking challenge.
More than 300 Year 10 students from Avonbourne and Harewood colleges were tasked with applying for one of 12 fictitious jobs – and then sent off for job interviews conducted by a wide range of local and national employers.
In scenes worthy of The Apprentice, the young job seekers were subjected to tough interview questions – and honest feedback on their performance.
The 14 and 15 year-olds could apply for a wide range of jobs, from engineer, to zoo keeper, to nursery manager to computer games tester.
They even dressed for the occasion. They left their uniforms at home and arrived suited and booted for the interviews.
CEO of Avonbourne Trust, Debbie Godfrey-Phaure, said: “This is an excellent exercise as it gives our students a taste of what to expect for when they start applying for jobs or college places in real life.
“The skills they learn through events such as these are invaluable and will stay with them forever.
“This event would not be possible without the help of the employers who take part. We are immensely grateful to them for giving up their time and sharing their vast experience and advice with our students.”
Altogether there were 42 employers from 28 organisations making up the interview panels.
Amongst the companies putting the students through their paces were JP Morgan, LV, Aviva, Lush, BT, Jordan’s Ryvita, Waitrose, Yellow Buses, Teachers Building Society, Orange, Bournemouth University and Bournemouth Hospital.
Michelle Wyse-Poulson from BT was one of the volunteer interviewers, she said: “It’s wonderful to meet young people and know that by just giving them some of your time you’re increasing their confidence to move forward into the work arena.
“By the end of the session they look physically different – proud of themselves and full of confidence.
“It was a real pleasure to attend this event.”
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