From education to employment

North East business collaboration helps students ‘Build their skills’ for the future

One of the largest ‘Mock Interview Days’ in the UK has successfully provided students in the North East with essential career guidance.

The event, held at the Newcastle Eagles Community Arena on Wednesday 5th June, saw over 1,000 students from all 12 local authorities of the North East and Teesside participate in a mock interview with 180 business guests volunteering their time to put students through their paces.

The annual event is the culmination of the ninth instalment of the Building My Skills initiative, a year-long employability skills, information and guidance programme which provides students with a rounded introduction to the world of work through 5 timetabled sessions, each delivered by a different business guest.

The free programme boasts a range of regional, national and international brands including Accenture, Bernicia, PwC, Northumbrian Water Group, Lloyds Bank, Hilton Hotel, Mediaworks, Visualsoft and the NHS.

Mayor of the North of Tyne Combined Authority, Jamie Driscoll, who was in attendance, praised the event. He said:

“This practise is great because when kids are going through school, often their school work doesn’t seem to have that direct connection with what they’re going to be doing in their lives and an experience like this is one of the best ways we can prepare kids for the future.”

Andy Radcliffe, Esh Group’s Chief Executive, added:

“The event was extremely successful. It was a great way for young people to have a realistic experience of what they can expect in future interview situations and make connections with employers for future placements and apprenticeships.”

“We encourage participation, collaboration and innovation both socially and commercially – Building My Skills, the Group’s longest running programme embodies all three and its legacy is something Esh and all our business partners can be very proud of.”

Aimee Moffat, from The King Edward VI School in Morpeth, said:

“I really enjoyed the programme, it has changed my view on what employers want and expect from young people, I’ve seen behind the scenes of some big businesses and heard about job roles I didn’t know existed.”

Esh Group and the three founding business partners Ryder, Arup and Turner & Townsend are now planning the 10th instalment of the multi award-winning programme which will launch in September 2019, engaging an estimated 14,000 students from 70 schools – their largest cohort to date.

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