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Leading Cumbria firms nurturing bright stars of tomorrow

SOME of the most promising students in Barrow have earned the chance to sample life working with some of Cumbria's leading businesses.

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GOOD IMPRESSION Frank De Souza, Laura Jenkins and Mark Richards from GSK interviewing during the Dream Placements day at Workington

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BRIGHT FUTURES Managing director at the Centre for Leadership Performance, Al Mather and Michelle Knott from BAE Systems during one of the group activities at the Dream Placements selection day

Seven youngsters from Barrow Sixth Form College are among 35 students from across the county who won the Dream Placements following a selection day.

The event at the Centre for Leadership Performance originally attracted more than 100 entries.

The successful 35 students have the unique opportunity to spend a week with the senior teams and leaders of 14 of the county's top employers – including Sellafield, BAE Systems, GlaxoSmithKline and National Nuclear Laboratory.

Senior managers from the companies attended the centre in Workington to get to know the students and decide who would win a Dream Placement.

The day featured confidence-building exercises with the students before they were set mini-challenges with the companies.

All of the organisations were so impressed with the high standard that some decided to offer more than one placement, which meant all 35 students were given placements.

Al Mather, CfLP managing director, said: "Too many bright people from this county think that the best opportunities lie outside of Cumbria. With the help of local employers and schools, we're looking to set the record straight and show the fantastic careers that are available right here in Cumbria."

The Barrow students agreed it had been a great occasion. Connor Cassley, 17, said: "It was a brilliant event. It was nice to meet big, local companies. I had already looked at some of them and their websites. I particularly wanted to speak to Glaxo – that would be a perfect job.

"The team-building exercise was good and it was fascinating bringing everyone's ideas together."

Ben Street, 17, said: "I want to study chemical engineering at university so I enjoyed speaking to National Nuclear Laboratories. It was a really good day, and the 'pocket positives' idea of things to say about yourself in an interview was a great tip."

Hollie Fitzgerald, 16, said: "I liked the interviews – they felt like real job interviews rather than just placements. I had interviews with Glaxo and BAE Systems.

"It is a great way to get face-to-face with people from companies in an informal way. I enjoyed the team building – it was a chance to learn something new."

Whitehaven News, Thursday, November 21, 2013

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