Thursday, July 18, 2024
Local News from North & South Tyneside

North Tyneside school students get chance to see local job opportunities

One of the UK’s largest business parks, Cobalt Park in North Tyneside, has welcomed almost 100 school students to help support them into employment. Called the Cobalt Safari, the event welcomed secondary pupils from Wellfield Middle School giving them the opportunity to see the business park and talk to some of the major employers.

Leeds Building Society, Newcastle Building Society, and mobile network provider EE highlighted the type of careers they offer on site and what it is like to work for them. The event is complemented by schools carrying out lessons before and after the event and is delivered in a partnership between North Tyneside Council, Cobalt Park and North East Local Enterprise Partnership (NELEP).

Cobalt Safari builds on a pilot programme that was held at Aycliffe Business Park last year by NELEP. The events help secondary schools and colleges implement their careers programmes and bridge the gap between industry and education, helping them to meet the Gatsby Benchmarks.

Cobalt Safari took place in addition to Get into Cobalt – a work experience programme delivered as part of National Careers Week running from the 4th-9th March. The five-day work experience programme at Cobalt Park gives local people the opportunity to experience firsthand what it is like working in a modern business over a full week and find out what skills are required to access the jobs and apprenticeships available. It features workshops covering what employers seek in potential employees, guidance on role applications, and interview techniques. These sessions are conducted by several of Cobalt’s major tenants, including Leeds Building Society, North Tyneside Council, and Capita.

Lynn Cramman, Business Development Manager at Cobalt Park said: “This was a very successful event, and it was really positive to see so many young people getting the chance to see what job opportunities there are right here on their doorstep at Cobalt Park.

“It is important that there are tighter links between our education system and industry. Pupils should have plenty of opportunity to learn from potential future employers about the skills that are valued in modern day workplaces.

“Cobalt Park is proud to contribute to these employment initiatives. We hope that the local people who participated in last week’s work experience program or joined us for the Cobalt Safari gain valuable insights, enhancing their skills and increasing their potential employability. We are committed to nurturing a pipeline of talented individuals who can thrive here at Cobalt Park.’’ 

Gareth McQuillan, School Improvement Adviser at North Tyneside Council, said: “We have been working alongside Cobalt Park for over a year now, helping to foster closer relationships between our schools and local employers. Today’s event was made possible through work with NELEP, and it was fantastic to see more than 90 pupils visit three employers and have their eyes opened to the world of work across the business park. The pupils’ behaviour was exemplary and they were particularly interested in discussing apprenticeships and other routes into employment and asked some great questions. We are looking forward to replicating the experience with other North Tyneside schools in future.” 

Helen Taylor – Head of Talent at Newcastle Building Society, said: ‘’This is a fantastic event to access our school networks and showcase some of the careers and opportunities that exist within our business. Employability is one of our strategic priorities and often potential candidates don’t always understand the variety of opportunities and careers we offer due to their perception of the finance industry. This provides a real opportunity to engage with the younger generation, for them to understand us as a business, the careers we offer and help us build a future talent pipeline. We are continuing to create employability opportunities and events like this help us achieve our ambition.

Neil Willis, Regional Lead Education Challenge said: “It was great to be able to support a coordinated approach to providing young people with experiences of the workplace and encounters with a range of employers at Cobalt Park. Young people got to meet a range of employees that had followed different pathways including young apprentices. They were particularly interested to hear from one that had also attended their school! We hope to support future opportunities for young people at Cobalt Park and other business parks across the region.”