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Saturday, 30 August 2014

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Hands-on job skills highlighted for 500 pupils

AROUND 500 pupils from 20 junior schools across West Cumbria took part in a careers event designed to highlight jobs in the local community.

Children aged 10 and 11 were given the chance to get hands-on at the Jobs in Our Community event held at Workington Leisure Centre this month.

The initiative, now in its 12th year and run by Inspira – formerly Connexions Cumbria – was aimed at giving youngsters the opportunity to learn more about jobs and employability skills.

Representatives from sectors including engineering, childcare, hairdressing, police, armed services, sport and motor vehicle maintenance took part in the programme.

The pupils, from Year Six, were given the opportunity to try on uniforms, practise hairstyles, scientific experiments and food preparation.

Bertha Priestley, professional advisor at Inspira, said: “The change from primary to secondary school can be a difficult one for some youngsters and motivation can suffer. This event shows why the things children are doing in school now and in the future are important after school.

“It also shows the range of jobs they can aspire to if they do their best and stick at it. We stress the vital importance of staying in learning and achieving the highest level of qualifications they possibly can.”

Vicky Chapman, teacher at Workington’s Westfield Primary School, said: “We come to this event every year as it really helps to raise job aspirations in our pupils. They love getting hands-on, which helps them to understand what is involved in certain professions.”

Year five teacher Rachael Doran, of St Begh’s School, Whitehaven, said the careers event encourages the children’s interest and aspirations in professions and work.

“Schemes like these keep our children interested in life after school. This week in class we’ve been learning about gender stereotypes in the workplace and as a result some of our boys are trying out hairdressing today and the girls have been looking at engineering.

“The popular professions that the children always flock to, though, are the police and Navy stands. But the childcare station has also been popular.”

The event was supported by the University of Cumbria and Sellafield Ltd.

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