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Chamber Members Hit Target To Help School Pupils

North East England Chamber of Commerce members have hit their target of 30,000 learner hours of support for the region’s pupils which has helped them learn about the world of work at first hand.

Over 7,000 North East school pupils in 47 schools had visits from leading business figures over 12 months from September 2017 to June 2018.

Through the Building My Skills (BMS) project, co-ordinated by Chamber partner Esh Group, volunteers from North East businesses visit schools to deliver inspirational careers talks and employability skills workshops. Students at schools that take part gain valuable advice on what employers are looking for and possible career choices.

In June 2017, the Chamber set an ambitious target to grow the contribution made by Chamber members from 25,000 hours in 2016/17 to 30,000 hours in 2017/18. Following the BMS Mock Interview Day at St. James’ Park on 23rd May, it has reached the target.

Catherine Boland, Baltic Training, took part in the BMS Mock Interview day at St James’ Park in May and said: “BMS is hugely beneficial for both businesses and young people. The Mock Interview day in particular is extremely helpful for smaller companies and training providers as it gives them an opportunity to really promote what is available for young people in areas such as the Tech Sector. The day acts as a perfect showcase for these firms in a way that is often only open to major employers. From my experience the Mock Interview day is also extremely valuable to the pupils who attend as it lets them see what is involved in that face to face meeting to ease their nerves.  BMS is a great asset for the region and inspires students to see what amazing opportunities there are for them as a future career in the North East.”

Jonathan Walker, Head of Policy and Campaigns at the Chamber, said: “The BMS programme is a great way for businesses such as Baltic Training to engage with schools and young people, and share their knowledge of career opportunities. It is fantastic to see so many members get involved and hit our ambitious target of 30,000 hours of learner activity.

“Through sessions like those delivered by companies students are finding out how to prepare for the world of work, and what is expected by employers.  A key part of our campaign to build a Working North East is to improve careers advice by building links between business and education. BMS does this perfectly and the support and assistance provided by Esh Group is so valuable.”

Around 50 schools throughout the North East 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 Chamber is calling on members who have not previously been involved to volunteer for the programme in 2018/19. Esh Group is hosting a launch event in early July for businesses to find out more and sign up to deliver sessions, for further information please contact buildingmyskills@neechamber.co.uk or click here.

BMS is hugely beneficial for both businesses and young people. The Mock Interview day in particular is extremely helpful for smaller companies and training providers as it gives them an opportunity to really promote what is available for young people in areas such as the Tech Sector. The day acts as a perfect showcase for these firms in a way that is often only open to major employers.

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