Chiswick School Gets Ready For Work

Local companies help students with job interview skills

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Today's students are often accused of not being ready for the workplace. Thanks to a special initiative run by Chiswick School, Chiswick Park-Enjoy Work and Spark!, the business education links charity, Year 10 at Chiswick have been learning how to prosper in the employment market.

Last week they completed the WEX factor programme in which students have designed CVs and interviewed people from a range of careers. The main focus of the final day was on job interviews and 25 volunteers, including staff from a range of companies at Chiswick Business Park, other employers, parents and governors, put year 10 through their paces.

Dale Calcutt of Starbucks with Daria Scmounk; James Middleton and Anissa Nelson take notes

Students arrived in school in their suits and business clothes. In the early part of the day students chose a ‘job’ to apply for. They were then given time to fill in an application form, research the company and find out about interview do's and don’ts.  After break it was over to the volunteers to start the grilling. Every student was interviewed and received feedback from the local employer and their fellow students.

‘It was really good,’ said Julia Pearce, in charge of recruitment at Headmaster’s head office. ‘I am sure the students will take the constructive criticism on board.’

The employers enjoyed themselves too. Dale Calcutt from Starbuck Head Office said,  ‘It was a pleasure. The students were well prepared and took the opportunity really seriously. I wish I had experienced something similar when I was at school.’

Debbie Ojo (10CH) learnt a lot form the day. ‘I am now clear about the interview process and how to be prepared. I now know about job descriptions and person specs. It was fun and felt like the real thing. James Short (10GR) agreed. ‘I have really enjoyed the day. Its really helped me and I feel a lot more confident.’

Ellie Mcdade is a parent as well as Learning and Development manager for Concur Technologies. Despite the current trend driven by the DFE for schools to focus on solely on the academic, Ellie thinks schools can learn much from business;‘Great to get real life business people in to share their expertise,’ she said.

Chiswick Park-Enjoy Work’s, Gemma McNellis, has recently won an award for her pioneering work linking businesses with schools. She praised the students. ‘ It was great to see students with so much potential. They will make excellent employees and we hope to see some of them at work in the Park some when they are older.’


December 6, 2012