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Mock interviews help Gateshead students prepare to enter the world of work

Year 11 students at Lord Lawson of Beamish Academy in Gateshead have been preparing for the world of work, college or university, thanks to a North East construction company.

The MGL Group, which is based in Durham, partnered with the school to provide every student in the year group with support in researching job opportunities and preparing for interviews.

Working with the school’s Careers Lead, MGL Group provided each student with details of a range of apprenticeship roles that exist within the construction industry. After choosing a role and carrying out further research, students attended a 15 minute mock interview, carried out by members of MGL Group’s HR team.

MGL Group Director Gillian Reader explained: “The students learnt about CV design, the accompanying letter, job applications and how to approach them, and the interview process. Finishing up with a realistic mock interview helped them to put these practical skills into action and also stands them in good stead for attending future interviews.”

“Students applied for positions including Accountancy Technician Apprenticeship, HR Support, Trainee Buyer, Civil Engineer, Highways Maintenance and Quantity Surveyor, depending on their own individual skills and interests.

“During the interviews, we use the same approach as we use with applicants to our apprenticeship programmes, so, while the students were supported throughout the process, it was also realistic enough to help prepare them for similar situations once they have left school. It’s also a great way for MGL Group as a business to inform young people about some of the opportunities that exist in our industry, and help to secure our future pipeline of talent.”

Each student received feedback after their interview, helping them to understand what they need to do in order to give themselves the best possible start when it comes to applying for further study, jobs or apprenticeships.

In total, 240 students went through the application and interview process, and the project is due to be repeated in 2019-20 with the next cohort of year 11s.

This project is part of the North East Local Enterprise Partnership’s Enterprise Adviser programme, which embeds business leaders into secondary schools and colleges to help them shape the delivery of careers education. Find out more at www.northeastambition.co.uk.