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Opportunities on our doorstep

SOME of the top sixth form students in Cumbria have won a "Dream Placement" with several of the county's top companies.

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INTERVIEWS: Pat Graham (front) from Copeland Borough Council and Patricia Potts from Innovia speed interviewing candidates

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Thanks to funding from Britain's Energy Coast Campus and Nuclear Management Partners, the Centre for Leadership Performance has been able to place 35 students with organisations in February half term next year.

CfLP recently held its Dream Placement selection day when from more than 100 entries, 35 students from across Cumbria were shortlisted and invited back to attend a selection day process.

Dream Placement will give the students a unique opportunity to spend a week with the senior teams and leaders of 14 of the county's top employers.

By bringing employers and some of the county's talented youngsters together, CfLP seeks to help employers find their leaders of the future and help students choose the right career.

The companies offering placements are: Nuclear Management Partners, Sellafield, NDA, Energy Solutions, Copeland Council, National Nuclear Laboratory, Allerdale Council, TIS Cumbria Ltd, Stobart Group, React Engineering, CFM Radio, BAE Systems, GSK, Innovia Films and Iggesund.

Senior managers attended to meet the students, get to know them all better and decide who would win a Dream Placement within their organisations.

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

Students were given a mystery object and then had to work as a team to decide what this mystery object could be used for, make a one-page business plan based on their ideas, and present this back to the group.

The students then took part in a speed interviewing session with the companies offering the placements. Students had to convince them why they deserved to win a Dream Placement.

CfLP and the companies were really inspired and amazed by the amount of talented young individuals that we have here in Cumbria.

Once the students had gone the companies and CfLP were left with the tough task of deciding who would be selected for the Dream Placements and where they would best be allocated. All of the companies were so impressed with the high standard of students that some of them decided to offer more than one placement which meant all 35 students who attended were given placements.

Al Mather, CfLP managing director, said: "This is such a great opportunity for young Cumbrians. 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."

Sarah Glass, CfLP business development manager, said: "I was able to speak to many students who attended and I was really impressed by the standard and the input on the day from all the students. I am not sure I could have gone through this when I was only 16.

"This is our first year of running this initiative and, thanks to NMP and Britain's Energy Coast Campus who have funded this project, it has meant that we have been in a lucky position to be able to work with some of the most successful companies in Cumbria to come together and work in partnership to offer this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to our young leaders of the future through Dream Placement."

CfLP is part funded by Nuclear Management Partners and Britain's Energy Coast Campus who share the same commitment and passion in helping to further strengthen and develop leadership capabilities for Cumbrian leaders of today and for the future.

Whitehaven News, Wednesday, December 3, 2013

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