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Big demand for dream placements

SOME of our most exceptional youngsters gained experience at the county's biggest companies after securing a highly contested placement.

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More than 100 sixth formers applied for the Centre for Leadership Performance's Dream Placements to work with 14 leading Cumbria businesses.

Ambitious 16 to 18-year-olds were given the opportunity to spend their half term getting an insight into the companies.

The placements aim to help the teenagers engage with businesses and inspire them for their future careers and 35 high calibre candidates made it through the rigorous selection process.

The businesses had intended to offer one placement but they were so impressed by the quality of the young people that they all received a placement.

Sellafield Ltd set the bar by offering 10 work placements.

Barrow's BAE Systems Maritime - Submarines offered elite nuclear placements for the first time.

Alice Longmire, of Ulverston Victoria High School, was delighted to be selected by BAE.

The 17-year-old said: "I applied for a Dream Placement because I would like to stay in Cumbria to do an apprenticeship or get a job. With university there is a lack of guarantee of getting a job.

"I really wanted a place at BAE as there are so many job opportunities in different sectors. This is going to be a really valuable experience for me. It's not every day you get a week nuclear placement at BAE."

The firm also welcomed Josh Wareing, of West Lakes Academy, in Egremont.

The BAE team designed a programme which included learning from people across the business, trainees to department heads and directors.

Michelle Knott, corporate responsibility advisor at BAE, said Dream Placement was a brilliant opportunity.

Mrs Knott said: "This is the first nuclear placement we have had on site and it has been very well managed.

"This is an elite placement for the young people and their host is the head of nuclear engineering, Peter Reynolds.

"The students will also be meeting Simon Wood our finance director and speaking about their experiences.

"The calibre of student at the assessment day was very good, and Alice and Josh were fantastic, they really impressed us."

Sellafield Ltd also put on a busy week for Anna Morgan and Luke Barton, both from Millom School, and Ben Street, from Barrow Sixth Form.

Anna said: "It's really interesting visiting the site and seeing what people do.

"I think a lot of people don't realise the importance of what goes on here.

"While I'm here I hope to pick up communication and business skills that I can use in my future career.

"I'm hoping to have a career in business after university but I like the idea of an apprenticeship with Sellafield Ltd being another option for me."

Sellafield's stakeholder relations director, Rory O'Neill said: "The Dream Placement is a fantastic opportunity for students to discover what careers are available to them on their doorstep and I hope they've found their time here valuable."

Ulverston's GSK welcomed three students from Barrow Sixth Form College: Leah Thwaites, Hollie Fitzgerald and Connor Cassley.

Connor, 17, of Barrow, chose GSK because he plans to study a medicinal chemistry degree and wants industry experience.

GSK Ulverston site director, Greig Rooney, said: "GSK Ulverston were really keen to support the Dream Placement Initiative 2014.

"The placement gives us a chance with three local talented sixth form students to provide them an insight into our business and how we work each day with the company values to make a positive difference to the patients at the end of our supply chain.

"It has been a really worthwhile investment and a great development opportunity for our staff as well who I would like to thanks for their contributions."

The other placements are with; 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 National Nuclear Laboratory.

Whitehaven News, Wednesday, March 5, 2014

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