Hemel students ready to hit the shop floor

Students often get a hard time from grown ups. ‘Get a job and see some of the real world,’ they say.  Well a group of Astley Cooper and Adeyfield school students are taking their advice seriously and are embarking on a long term work experience placement starting in October.

It’s a part of a plan to prepare 16 year olds from Hemel Hempstead to take advantage of the growing number of apprenticeships being offered by businesses that are an attractive alternative to expensive university study.

The Work-Based Learning Course provides three BTEC qualifications to the students alongside the all-important work experience that employers value so highly. 22 enterprising students are now heading for a six-month stint on the shop floor in a variety of job roles.  They’ll be learning the ropes in the building trade, in retail, garden landscaping, childcare, human resources and engineering.

It’s a big leap from the classroom into work for the young people. As Erica Hodges the course coordinator explains, “They won’t just be observing work, they’ll be getting their hands dirty. They are closely supervised but the agreement with our partner businesses is that the students will be pushed hard and held accountable for the quality of their work just like any other employee.”

The course is unique in the Three Counties and it owes its existence to the wonderful forward thinking local businesses that have agreed to take the students on.

“We are very lucky to be supported by businesses of all sizes right here on our doorstep.  Companies as diverse as the multinational Atlas Copco, The Marlowes Shopping Centre and family run firms like Five Star Trophies, The Tackle Shack and 4-11 Afterschool Care,” said Erica.

The sports and leisure activity provider Apex 360, Contractors and engineering company SWR have all taken on a couple of young people and Framework Scaffolding Contractors have promised to take up to five students.

The site manager at the Framework yard Alex Ball is a staunch supporter of the scheme.  He readily admits he had a torrid time at school but knuckled down once he hit the workplace and by any measure he’s done well in his career.

Alex said, “Work experience is all important for young people starting out on a career path and there is precious little of it about.  At Framework we believe that as a successful business we have a duty to help bring on the next generation with some good hard work.  It’s a bit of a shock for some of them but it does them good.”

For further information contact Richard O’Brien 07825 153 516

Photo taken at the Dacorum Schools Careers Fair, Wednesday 24 October 2018

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