Budmouth College business centre a model for success

TRUE EXCELLENCE: Students from Ferndown Upper School visit the Centre of Excellence for Industrial Liaison at Budmouth College.

GOOD JOB: Marcel Ciantar, director of the CEIL

First published in News Dorset Echo: Photograph of the Author by

A BUSINESS centre which began life in a Weymouth school is set to bring more jobs to the town and could be adopted by every sixth form in England and Wales.

Budmouth College’s Centre of Excellence for Industrial Liaison (CEIL) was mentioned in a cross party report on Enterprise in Education by MP Anne Marie Morris.

The school’s centre is designed to prepare students for the workplace and gives students the chance to work with business representatives on a variety of projects.

Sixth forms in schools as far afield as Leighton Buzzard and Manchester are now set to adopt the format.

Last year the Echo reported that the CEIL had been taken up by other schools in Dorset.

Marcel Ciantar, director of the CEIL, said: “Something that started in Weymouth four years ago is being exported elsewhere.

“All of this is showing external support for the model. This shows that it has worked and I think this is worth celebrating.

“This could go to every secondary school in the country that has a sixth form.

“If it continues travelling at this rate, this centre could bring in more jobs to the area. We could see around 20 jobs created.”

Schools that have already taken on the CEIL format are Shaftesbury School, the Bishop of Winchester Academy in Bournemouth and Ferndown Upper School, which have been running CEILs since September last year.

Mr Ciantar said: “Myself and some students went to talk at a conference in London in November and there were a lot of people with educational backgrounds there.

“What we are doing was discovered by people in education.

“I think it’s the best thing since sliced bread.”

Some 79 Budmouth students from years 12 and 13 attend the CEIL, where they sign a contract to be interns.

It tailors an individual programme for each member of the CEIL and helps students to identify their weaknesses and work out a plan for improving them.

Mr Ciantar said: “We focus on the personal demons which hinder progression.

“It’s a business centre, it’s not school. When the phone rings students aren’t used to answering it but we help them develop techniques to deal with workplace situations.

“When they leave the school they have the experience that many graduates have not had.

“We are exporting an idea that started in Weymouth. This shows that something that started here can grow and grow.”

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