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APPRENTICESHIPS: Students investigate job options

By North Devon Journal  |  Posted: April 09, 2014

Ilfracombe Academy students on the Pupil and Employer Engagement Programme (PEEP)

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A GROUP of 36 11-year-olds from Ilfracombe Academy, Pilton College and Braunton Academy met at the Apprenticeships Showcase to investigate the variety of job opportunities available locally.

This represents the beginning of a three-year Pupil and Employer Engagement Programme, known as PEEP because it creates opportunities for students to get a ‘peep’ or insight into the world of work.

PEEP has been created by the Employment and Skills Board and North Devon+ with the support of Torridge and North Devon councils.

Thanks to local employers, students will be invited into a range of workplace environments to learn about career options and the range of skills required for different jobs.

During this visit the group took part in the North Devon Journal Paparazzi Challenge. Working in teams they interviewed employers and took photographs of the event. In the afternoon, they wrote a press article. Suggested headlines included: “When you get a chance, make sure you take it”, “Life without limits” and “A fun filled day”.

Students took the opportunity to question businesses from different sectors.

Chelsea, Jye and Matthew spoke to Stella Letherby from Brend Hotels and the hospitality sector, who said: “It is fantastic to see such enthusiasm from the students.”

Regan, Millie and Cadan spoke to Paul Crockett from The Voice FM, who said: “This is an excellent event and it’s a good way for young people to find out about training and work opportunities.”

Lauren, Jacob and Liam said: “We think it was really good fun. We met Liz Clarkson from Duchy College and she said that she really enjoyed meeting new employers and explaining how apprenticeships can help your business.”

Bethany, Jack and Davy said “Everybody was buzzing with excitement, even all the teachers. We thought it was a great day.”

See some of the students’ photographic results from the paparazzi challenge, right.

If you are an employer that would like to get involved with the PEEP programme, contact Sarah Grigg, Employment and Skills manager at North Devon+ on 01237 426426.

AN award-winning joinery apprentice was the sole representative at the recent WorldSkills Americas competition in Colombia.

Chris Lake, a 19-year-old apprentice at GS Haydon and Son of South Molton and 2012 winner of the British Woodworking Federation Apprentice of the Year award, was chosen to be a guest contender at the prestigious competition.

The event is exclusively for countries and regions in North America, South America, Central America and the Caribbean and is the first time a contender has been allowed to compete from outside the member countries.

Didac, a leading training provider for the furniture and wood industry, was approached by ProSkills and the British Council in Colombia less than a fortnight before the event to identify a strong candidate to participate in the cabinet making category.

Didac managing director Jon Gibson said: “This has been a rollercoaster ride with such limited time to get things together but is an opportunity we definitely didn’t want to miss.

“Chris was an obvious choice for the competition. He’s recently started his advanced apprenticeship with us and I know he’s capable of the challenge ahead.”

Jon also attended the event to deliver presentations on UK apprenticeships and vocational training.

Jonathan Ledger, managing director of ProSkills, said: “I am really pleased that our positive relationship with British Council staff in Colombia allows us to support such a prestigious event.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity for both the apprentice and training provider to gain valuable global experience.”

Chris was required to create a piece of furniture using the materials provided. The judging was based on his interpretation of drawings, safe working practices, preparation of surfaces, jointing and assembly, among other essential joinery skills.

Chris was not included for a medal as he was from outside the qualifying countries, although his work impressed the judges.

Graham Haydon, director of GS Haydon and Son, said: “We’re very excited about this opportunity for Chris. He’s never done anything like this before and making a furniture piece will be a challenge for him, as his speciality is normally windows and doors.”

IF you’re recruiting an apprentice, take advantage of our special apprenticeship vacancies edition on Thursday, April 24.

To promote your vacancy, send the employer name (and company logo if available), location, job role/apprenticeship title, job specification (30 words maximum) and details of who to contact, for example, the training provider, NAS website or employer.

Please send information to: sgrigg@northdevonplus.co.uk by 5pm on Tuesday, April 15.

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