Year 9 pupils from a North Tyneside school have learnt about the world of work at first hand for the last year and benefited from leading businesspeople telling them what they look for in their future employees.

Burnside Business and Enterprise College, Wallsend, have taken part in the Building My Skills programme supported by North East England Chamber of Commerce and developed by Esh Group.

Schools have hosted a series of regular sessions on how to get the careers they want, led by employers in the North East from a range of sectors and the students are encouraged to develop the right skills to get jobs.

Harrison Green, 15 from the college said he wanted to be an A&E Doctor and do an apprenticeship with the NHS.   He found the programme helpful as he now understands workplace jargon such as flexi-time and zero hours contracts.

He said: “Through the programme I am more prepared for the world of work by developing soft skills such as teamwork, leadership and how to follow employment rules.”

Ross Smith, director of policy, North East England Chamber of Commerce said: “Building My Skills is a really successful programme which helps young people around the region learn so much about what employers want.  We currently have a campaign to encourage our members to join the impressive list of businesses already involved.  It is vitally important that companies and schools work closely together.”

Harrison added: “I learnt how to behave in an interview to make a good, first impression and how best to write about yourself as it’s a difficult skill.”

Building My Skills is a free, year-long employability programme which provides students in years 9 and above with a rounded introduction to the world of work, including what different careers entail, what employers look for in interviews and applications as well as practical experience of interviews.

The Programme is used by 49 schools and with just over 7,240 pupils throughout the North East.  It has been running for six years.

Companies who helped with sessions included Chamber members Life Saving Training, PwC, The Solution Group and Capita.