A Dorchester school has become the first in west Dorset to join the new Young Chamber Programme, bridging the gap between business and education.

The Thomas Hardye School, on Queens Avenue, has signed up to the pioneering initiative, led by Dorset Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI). 

Winfrith-based Atlas Elektronik UK (AEUK) has sponsored the school’s membership to put it on the map along with 12 schools and colleges countywide.

Two of the company’s current apprentices - Ben Lawrence and Charlotte Cox, who started at AEUK six months ago - gave a talk to sixth formers at the launch of the programme at Thomas Hardye. 

The school’s headteacher, Mike Foley, said: “Atlas Elektronik UK’s approach to apprenticeships is exemplary.

“It is important that students really do consider all of their choices and it is great to have two shining examples of Atlas Elektronik UK’s apprenticeship scheme at our launch event.

“We are very grateful to them for sponsoring our membership of the programme and we look forward to developing a close relationship with them.”

DCCI, which is Dorset’s leading business support organisation, launched the Young Chamber Programme last September.

Thomas Hardye has signed up to the programme as part of its ongoing work to forge closer ties with business and inform students of their career options.