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North East England Chamber of Commerce members are set to have helped thousands of students learn more about how to get their dream job, and have been boosted by Cleveland Police joining forces with the employability project.

The Building My Skills (BMS) programme, set up by Esh Group, gives students, aged 14-19 years old first-hand knowledge of careers from industry professionals, interview practice and employers’ advice on how to compile CVs.

Cleveland Police joined the 39 other Chamber members supporting BMS when they became aware of the programme when Esh Group was awarded the contract to build the new police headquarters in the Tees Valley.

Nicky Watson, Cleveland Police, Organisational Development Manager said: “The opportunity to be part of BMS was extremely opportune for us as we were looking for leadership development opportunities including the area of presentation skills.  The chance to go into all Cleveland schools and support our schools’ liaison officers’ work on safety on-line as well as helping student’s knowledge of the world of work was beneficial all round.

“Our team, some of whom had never presented in a school environment before, found it really rewarding and sometimes challenging, so it was a real learning experience for everyone.”

Paul Carbert, Chamber policy adviser said: “We support the BMS programme as it’s a great way for businesses to engage with schools and young people, and share their knowledge of career opportunities. Through sessions like those delivered by Cleveland Police, students are finding out how to prepare for the world of work, and what is expected by employers.  We are constantly looking for ways for businesses and education to work closely together and BMS does this perfectly.”

The Chamber and Esh Group set a target of achieving 30,000 hours of learner activity delivered by Chamber members in North East schools during the 2017/18 academic year.

A total of 49 schools around the region take part in the BMS programme every year, with students who have attended all time-tabled sessions and committed to completing their employability portfolio being invited to a mock interview day at the end of the academic year.

The call is also out now for the next round of employers to take part in helping educate North East pupils on the world of work and what they need to succeed.  Further information is available from Victoria McCormick on Victoria.McCormick@esh.uk.com or http://www.eshgroup.co.uk/added-value/community/building-my-skills/

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