MORE than 1,300 pupils from across the North East put their interview skills to the test today, at an event that could have a profound impact on their future careers.
Young people from 26 schools across the region came to St James’ Park in Newcastle to be put through their paces in mock interview sessions – delivered by professionals from a wide range of sectors.
The event was organised by construction firm Esh Group as part of its Building My Skills initiative and saw young interviewees chalk up valuable experience to set them up for entry into the world of work.
Employers such as Accenture, Ryder Architecture, Ubisoft, Sintons, Royal Mail and Swinburne Maddison had representatives on hand to give pupils a feel for what interviews are like, and advice on how they can prepare for the real thing.
Esh Group chief executive Andy Radcliffe explained: “We’re extremely grateful to the employers, our partners, who gave their time for today’s event.
“Making sure young people are equipped to face the requirements and challenges of the working world is of vital importance to our economy and communities, and Esh Group recognises its responsibilities in driving that forward.
“This was the largest of our mock interview days yet, and it’s fantastic to be able to put businesses and school-leavers together in a way which benefits both.
“The structure of this event means young people can go into real interviews with the confidence that they know what to expect, and can sell themselves effectively.”
In addition to the one-to-one interviews with employers, the event also hosted 65 panel sessions in which professionals spoke about life in their own sectors.
It is the culmination of the annual, year-long Building My Skills programme which sees school children introduced to the world of work through regular engagement sessions.
The scheme, which has received national recognition from the likes of Business in the Community, brings schools and businesses together.
Representatives from businesses deliver one-hour sessions that cover insights into the sector, their own career journeys and transferable skills to consider.
In tandem with each session pupils complete an employability portfolio with key skills and knowledge that will be useful to them when applying for future jobs.
Ella Renwick, 14, from Hetton School, Sunderland, said: “We’ve learned a lot today – including skills to use in interviews and also what it’s like to work in different industries.
“It’s really useful to be able to ask different people about their jobs and how they got to where they are now – especially for people like me who are deciding what they want to do in the future.”
Darush Dodds, head of Corporate Responsibility and Added Value at Esh Group, explained: “The interview day is just one component of the Building My Skills programme, which is all about preparing young people for life after school.
“Not only do the young people in attendance get experience and insights, they also have the chance to meet real employers and build connections that could benefit their future careers.”
For more information contact Tom Keighley at Cool Blue Brand Communications on firstname.lastname@example.org or 0191 375 9146