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Ready for week of work

MORE than 30 students from sixth forms across Cumbria have completed their final preparation before embarking on their Dream Placement with some of the county's top companies.

The Centre for Leadership Performance has arranged for ambitious candidates to spend a week with their chosen company.

While their fellow students are at home for half term this month, the Dream Placement team will be getting an up close and personal inside view of Cumbria's best employers, and seeing first-hand how the senior teams and leaders within those organisations operate.

The students attended a Development Day at Energus in Workington recently to prepare them for their placements.

Companies taking part in the scheme include: Sellafield Ltd, BAE Systems, GlaxoSmithKline, Nuclear Management Partners, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, REACT Engineering, Stobart Group, Iggesund Holmen Group, Copeland and Allerdale Borough Councils, Energy Solutions, Innovia Films, CFM Radio, and the National Nuclear Laboratory.

By bringing together employers and talented youngsters, the Centre aims to help employers find their leaders of the future and help students to find the right careers.

The centre is supported by NMP as part of its contribution to improving the socio-economic outlook in West Cumbria.

Al Mather, the Centre's managing director, said: "We had a fantastic day and all of the companies involved continue to be impressed by the calibre of the young people on the scheme, their intelligence, talent and commitment.

"Those young people now have a unique opportunity to gain experience which will benefit them whatever their choices are for the future, and for the employers it gives them a chance to take a close look at some of the county's most talented and ambitious young people."

The students were equally enthusiastic about the Dream Placement opportunities and the development day.

Josh Wareing who attends West Lakes Academy in Egremont and is spending a week at BAE Systems in Barrow, said: "I am hoping to secure a high level apprenticeship and was very keen to gain the experience of spending time inside BAE Systems.

"The development day has taught me the importance of asking the right questions, and how to get the most out of the placement."

Adam Wozencroft, of Netherhall Sixth Form in Maryport, is looking forward to his placement with REACT Engineering, one of the region's nuclear sector specialists.

He said: "One of the exercises during the development day was to identify three objectives for the placement, and I am now confident that I can really get full value from working at REACT."

Jade Goodwin, a student at Whitehaven Secondary School, will be spending half term with Sellafield Ltd.

She said: "The development work reinforced the fact that it is up to us what we get out of the placement - not the company we go to.

"I will be asking lots of questions and this is the sort of experience that will really expand my ideas about what I want to do in the future."

Rachel McSharry, from Netherhall Sixth Form, is placed with Allerdale Borough Council which she described as a dream come true.

She said: "I am really interested in politics so getting inside the council and seeing how it works with the community is a perfect choice for me.

"I found the development day really valuable in the way that it shows not only how important good leaders are, but also the importance of working as part of a team."

Gary McKeating, head of stakeholder engagement and socio economics at NMP, also attended the development day.

He said: "The Dream Placement programme is massively important to the Energy Coast and the rest of Cumbria.

"We need good leaders and we need talented young people to recognise that there are fantastic career opportunities right her in Cumbria.

"The young people taking part in this scheme are hugely impressive and I am certain they are the leaders of tomorrow so it is important for local businesses to engage with them."

News & Star, Wednesday, February 19, 2014

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