Pupils given insight into ‘real world’

EMPLOYERS and educationalists have come together to develop plans to ensure school leavers in south east Northumberland have the best chance of success in the world of work.

Bede Academy in Blyth invited local companies and organisations to join its Employers’ Forum to find mutually beneficial ways of preparing students for life outside the academy.

The school, which has enterprise and engineering specialisms, has developed strong relationships with industry in Northumberland since it opened in 2009.

It welcomes visiting lecturers and enterprise activities led by local business leaders, and has strong work experience partnerships.

Assistant vice-principal Alan Corner said: “This forum is about helping each other – what we as an academy can do to support our students in terms of their employability whilst also supporting the success and sustainability of businesses in the area.

“We are delighted that so many organisations have joined us already and we hope to recruit more into the forum in the future.”

The organisations represented included Narec, Tynetec, Osbit Power, Tharsus, Archer, Innovation and Technology Group and Promise.

Vice-principal Steve Nelson said: “We offer our students an outstanding range of opportunities including joining a tall ship voyage, volunteering in Zambia and the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme,” he said.

“Businesses can meet their own community aims by getting their staff involved through mentoring and volunteering alongside these projects.”

Tony Platten, chairman of Tynetec, who took part in the forum, added: “If we can expose children to the real world as soon as possible and encourage them to stick in with their maths, science and engineering they will walk into a job, and there are real jobs out there at all levels of engineering.”