Business mentors wanted to work with Wensleydale School pupils

The Wensleydale School and Sixth Form.

A business group is seeking mentors to work with young people as part of a partnership with the Wensleydale School and sixth form.

The Lower Wensleydale Business Network is working in partnership with the Wensleydale School and Sixth Form to launch a mentoring and internship scheme where it matches its members and local business owners with students.

It is hoped the scheme will increase the long-term retention rates of young people in the area.

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It follows a joint announcement from the school and business group last year about a new study option open to students starting this September.

Through the Wensleydale School and Sixth Form Business and Innovation Centre, students will have access to a tailored vocational and academic study route which will be coupled with this mentorship and internship scheme.

A mentor will be asked to commit to their student for a two-year period, with regular meetings where they help their student understand the skills that employers are looking for while giving them a first-hand insight into their chosen career.

This will be coupled with an internship which will provide each student with practical experience of working in a business environment, and most importantly allow the internship provider to uniquely evaluate and support a prospective employee.

The business group hopes the scheme will go some way to improve the long-term career prospects for young people in the area.

David Poole, part of the Lower Wensleydale Business Network management team, believes it is crucial that businesses do everything they can to help develop the next generation of business leaders.

He said: “Too often we see young people leave our community because of a perceived lack of opportunity.

“The mentorship and internship scheme will open up opportunities by give our young people the skills and experience that employers are desperately looking for when they are recruiting.

Chairman Richard Sanderson added: “As a businessman I wish that there had been an option like this in my younger days, it has everything to set the young people on the path to success.”

Wensleydale School and Sixth Form assistant head teacher, Charles Barnett, is spearheading the Business and Innovation Centre.

He said: “Studying at the Business and Innovation Centre in Wensleydale prepares our students for the 21st Century.

“They can use their skills for many of the established routes for 18-year-olds – be it higher level apprenticeships, direct employment, university or using their business and innovation skills to start their own businesses.”

Organisers say the scheme is not just about benefitting the next generation but also seeks to help the generous businesses who will volunteering their time.

For any business owners and leaders who want to be a mentor please email or phone 0777-9378641.