More students than ever have taken part in a scheme which gives them an insight into the world of work.
A total of 500 students from 15 schools visited businesses across the area as part of Open Doors, a project run by East Sussex County Council and supported by Skills East Sussex.
With 44 businesses opening their doors – more than double the number that took part last year – the project has proved such a success that it has been extended into the spring and summer terms, allowing even more students to benefit and more businesses to take part.
Cllr Bob Standley, the county council’s lead member for education and ISEND, said: “I’m delighted that so many East Sussex students have been able to broaden their knowledge and experience of the workplace through this project.
“No doubt many have been inspired by their visits, and discovered more about the types of jobs available to them in the county and the career paths they need to follow.”
Students from Year 7 to 13 were able to visit businesses including a five-star hotel, a dance theatre, a gallery, a bank, and a wildlife charity. East Sussex County Council and local MPs also took part, as well as East Sussex Highways, which offered a number of students future work experience and apprenticeships following their visits. This year’s event also saw the first female-only visits to construction and engineering sites.
Cllr Rupert Simmons, the county council’s lead member for economy, said: “I am extremely grateful to the 44 businesses taking part in this year’s Open Doors for giving young people the opportunity to experience the careers available in East Sussex. The project is invaluable in promoting industries which have previously found it difficult to employ a local workforce, pointing young people towards the most relevant and appropriate training.”
Businesses interested in working with East Sussex schools to improve careers and work readiness skills by providing work experience, promoting apprenticeships, opening their doors to groups of students or engaging with activities that promote specific sectors to young people, can contact EnterpriseCoordinator@eastsussex.gov.uk.
Businesses that took part in 1066 Country included Amber Rudd MP; Ashdown Hurrey, Hastings; Colours Ltd, St Leonards; De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill; Drallim, St Leonards; East Sussex Highways; EDF, Dungeness; Focus SB, St Leonards; General Dynamics, St Leonards; Huw Merriman MP; Jerwood Gallery, Hastings; Marshall Tufflex, St Leonards; Oakland Care, Hastings and Eastbourne; RSPCA, Hastings; Sussex Wildlife Trust, Rye; and Talkative Online, Hastings.
Schools that took part include Bexhill College, Claverham Community College, New Horizons and East Sussex College Group.