Monday, April 7, 2014

News: Housing firm helps build pupils' confidence


A combination of over 31 businesses and education professionals from in and around Rotherham spent a day at Wath Comprehensive recently to give pupils a real-life interview experience.

Approximately 260 pupils took part in the day with mock interviews taking place with South Yorkshire Police, Sheffield College, Tata Steel and the NHS to name a few.

The Year 10 pupils attended an interactive presentation from the Army four weeks prior to the interview session, which included a question and answer session, to prepare them for the day.

The purpose of the project, a partnership between Guinness Northern Counties and Wath Comprehensive, was to give the pupils an insight into the interview process and help them to gain the confidence and practical skills they will need to handle job applications and interviews.

Brian Hamlin, community investment manager for Guinness Northern Counties, has been coordinating the sessions. He said: "Following the success of these interview sessions held last year, we were happy to fund this project and work with Wath Comprehensive.

"The response from both pupils and businesses last year and today was very positive and comes at exactly the right time in the pupils' education when they are starting to consider their next steps."

Year 10 pupil Mason was interviewed by Stephen Hinchliffe, an account manager at the Source Skills Academy. Mason said: "It was really helpful to have a real interview and I've learned a lot today, about improving my application form and the importance of greeting and eye contact. Stephen took it really seriously and he was very constructive. It's made me think a lot about my future.

"I'm a diabetic and I'd like to go into nutrition and supporting people with illnesses as a profession, today has really given me an idea of what I need to do when I go for interviews."

Stephen Hinchliffe, added: "Overall I found the attitude of the pupils at Wath Comprehensive to be very positive. I was particularly impressed with Mason Cherry, when not only did he come to the interview with three pre-prepared questions, but they were very good questions! He asked why he should join our organisation and what qualifications would he gain and he told me he had been practising his handshake. He was clearly a very bright young man and he certainly ticked all the right boxes during his interview."

Working in partnership with schools, colleges and businesses in the region, this is the sixth interview session in the last two years, with further sessions planned for later this year.

Guinness Northern Counties is part of one of the largest affordable housing and care providers in the country. It has recently seen the completion of a £1.4m housing development providing new homes in Wath. Local building constructor, Keepmoat Ltd has built the 18 terraced properties for affordable rent that complete the landmark development which in its entirety provides 88 homes for rent and for shared ownership.

Guinness Northern Counties website

Images: Guinness Partnerahip


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