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Work experience candidates thrive after going in at the deep end

A flagship business centre has won the praise of one of the region’s leading training organisations for its role as a stepping stone which is helping young people into the world of work.

Hull Business Training Centre (HBTC) has placed 11 candidates in work experience at The Deep Business Centre in the last three years. All have progressed to apprenticeships or permanent employment, many with major businesses – and some say they never want to leave!

Chloe Parker, a 17-year-old from Bilton Grange, said:

I want to do something like this and I’ve gained some good experience. I haven’t really thought about what sort of business I would like to go into. I’d like to work here!

Laüren Gooding, who stepped in when Chloe finished her term, said: “I wanted to go somewhere I could learn practical skills. I want to go into accounts and finance, and I am being given work which will help me do that.”

Both girls went to school in Hull and spent a year at colleges in the city before signing up with HBTC and being offered a place at The Deep.

Chloe said: “I had never done proper work experience and I had nothing to do during the summer holidays so I applied to HBTC and they asked me to start the following Monday. After a week I came here.”

Laüren added:

I had only ever worked in a takeaway before so I’m getting a lot of benefit from being here and the people are really friendly.

Receptionists Sue Waterhouse and Leah-Anne Shillito manage the work experience candidates and set them a daily routine which includes working on reception, taking internal phone calls, welcoming guests for the business tenants and playing a key role in organising conferences.

Sue said: “They have responsibility for setting up conferences and looking after delegates from start to finish. They basically run the events under our supervision. We also get external businesses holding events here for five people or as many as 20, maybe with a requirement for video conferencing. There’s a lot going on and they are a big help to us.”

Learners from HBTC have followed work experience at The Deep by progressing to apprenticeships and jobs with businesses including RB, Beal Homes, Prestige Contract Services and HP Freightways.

The family-run company also delivers apprenticeships, traineeships and adult training, including funded training for unemployed people.

Chris Dolman, Strategic Development Manager at HBTC, said: “We welcome all participants from diverse backgrounds who are keen to learn and develop. Whether someone is making their first steps into the world of work, an established employee looking to enhance their skills or an unemployed person trying to improve their employability skills.

We have been extremely happy with the partnership we have forged with The Deep Business Centre. It has enabled us to provide quality work experience opportunities to help local young people enhance their skills and improve employability.

Freya Cross, Business and Corporate Manager at The Deep, said: “We don’t do traditional work experience placements – we want to bring people in for longer, eight weeks at a time, so we can add value for them and their potential future employers.

“Too many young people turn up at work without really understanding what’s expected of them. When they come here they are learning skills as part of a team from the start and they are relied upon to deliver. We know it works because one of them got a job with one of our tenants!”

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