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'Unique project' to help students set to be unveiled across Dorset
A ‘UNIQUE’ project to help students develop workplace skills is to be rolled out across the county following success in Weymouth.
The Centre of Excellence at Budmouth College is to be used as a template for similar schemes in north and east Dorset and director of business and enterprise Marcel Ciantar hopes the idea will eventually be used on a national scale.
The centre, which opened in March last year, aims to bridge the gap between school and work by teaching students, or members, how to be employable.
Mr Ciantar said: “I am very proud and excited that the centre has been such a success story.
“When we set this up last year it was completely new, completely unique, and now I have been asked to help set up other centres in Shaftesbury, and at another location in east Dorset.”
The Centre of Excellence for Industrial Liaison (CEIL) now has more than 100 students aged between 16 and 19 who volunteer their time to take part in various projects to bring employers and young people together.
The project has expanded from 30 youngsters who were involved when it first began.
Mr Ciantar added: “I’m very proud of what our students have achieved, and now that we have been up and running for some time we are seeing some of them go on to university or the workplace and use the skills that they have learned here.
“It’s also fantastic that this is something that began in Weymouth and we want the whole country to see that this is something that can bring about cultural change and enable young people to go into work and be able to hit the ground running.”
Practical experience and challenging one’s weaknesses are key parts of the centre, Mr Ciantar added.
Harry Hintze, 17, is organising a design and technology evening as part of his work with the scheme.
He said: “One of the areas I was told to improve is my time management, as I tend to leave things until the last minute.
“This project has a lot of deadlines.”
Other schemes allow the students to gain first-hand experience in finding out what employers look for.
Amelia Attree, 18, sat on an interview panel to choose a personal assistant for the CEIL.
She said: “We interviewed six applicants and it really helped me to understand what it’s like to be sat on the other side of the table.
“It’s not just about qualifications – we had to find someone with a personality who would really click with the other students.”