Devizes School pupils get a taste of work

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Jess Dubberley, Emily Young, Simon Jacobs and Kate Moore Jess Dubberley, Emily Young, Simon Jacobs and Kate Moore

A Scheme in which Devizes School pupils are mentored by the business community is taking off in the town.

Since the end of the work experience scheme – which saw pupils spending a week in an office, factory or shop – there is nowhere that young people looking to enter the world of work can find out what it entails.

So Devizes businessman Simon Jacobs has launched the mentoring scheme, in which the business community is urged to take on a sixth form student.

Mr Jacobs, a partner in Winkworth estate agents, said: “The big advantage is that the kids can establish a network and be introduced to other businesses through their mentor.

“We, as businesses, have a network of contacts and the school has young talent. The mentoring scheme can bring these together for the benefit of each student and the town.

“The problem with the school is that 95 per cent of staff live outside the catchment area so they don’t have those local connections.”

Already students from Devizes School have benefited from the scheme. Jess Dubberley, 18, has been mentored by Clive Sherman, a manager at the Bear Hotel.

She said: “It has been so valuable to talk to people who do it for a living.”

Emily Young, 17, who has been mentored at Wink-worth’s, said: “My confidence has shot up.”

Kate Moore, 18, is interested in working with disadvantaged children and, through the scheme, has been put in touch with staff at Rowdeford School.

Mr Jacobs said: “This just happened this morning. It is amazing how quickly things can be arranged when you have a network of contacts.”

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