HIGH-FLYING students at a Sherborne school are taking part in a pilot scheme to better their career opportunities.

The Bridging the Gap scheme will give sixth form students at Sherborne Girls the chance to apply for 12 months’ paid employment at four fictitious companies.

These companies include a bank, a digital marketing company, a travel service, and a pharmaceuticals and healthcare company.

Students will attend a series of workshops focusing on job applications and what to expect in an interview situation.

Successful applicants will then go through a rigorous interview process in front of a panel of business professionals in their chosen sectors, and will win a prize at the end of it.

Rowan MacNeary, head of sixth form, said: “This generation of students face stiffer competition than ever before, but they are also working harder than ever before.

“This programme has been designed as a first step on the graduate career ladder – even before the girls have become graduates.”

The programme has been devised in partnership with chartered occupational psychologist Geraldine Stanley.

Ms Stanley said: “Given the current employment situation for young people, it is vital that school leavers and graduates can become competitive within the job market as soon as possible.

“The Bridging the Gap programme is designed to provide the girls with a real experience of navigating through a job application process and via the series of workshops, develop the skills to tackle other job applications in the future.”