Students gain professional skills on summer placements…
Thistley Hough Academy students have been learning about the world of work through placements with local employers including Michelin and Premier Foods (Mr Kipling).
The week-long placements aim to raise student awareness about the broad range of career opportunities available on their doorstep and give them an insight into the world of work.
Jane Belcher, HR Manager at Michelin, said providing young people with the opportunity to experience the workplace is important in helping them to discover and consider career opportunities they may not have even been aware of.
She said: “This is why we welcome students such as Omid Aslam, Shoaib Akhter and Waleed Hussain from Thistley Hough Academy. All three have demonstrated a real interest in finding out more about why and how we do things and our employees, from a variety of departments, have enjoyed giving their time to explain the different roles and responsibilities they have.
“The students have also helped us plan this year’s ‘Michelin Inspiring Males Event’ – where we invite 11 inspiring men from a variety of careers to inspire 60 13- to 15-year-old boys to consider their career options.”
Michelin placement student Waleed Hussain, aged 15 from Etruria, is studying product design and has ambitions to be an engineer.
He said: “Over our week we’ve spent time in all of the departments at Michelin, from HR where we learned how the HR manager helps to manage and care for the staff, then with the marketing team we looked at the Michelin website and competitor websites and gave feedback on the things we liked.
“Then we were asked to help organise an event for young people, where we came up with ideas of which speakers they could invite. We also saw the customer service centre where incoming calls for orders are handled and there were people there speaking all different languages.
“The whole experience has really boosted my confidence, as everyone was talking to us and listening to the ideas we gave them.
“I think the biggest surprise for me is that Michelin do so much more than just make tyres. I thought it would be factory work just making tyres but they produce maps and guides and there are so many other departments. You think work will be boring, but it’s been far more interesting than I thought it would be.”
Carse and Waterman Productions, an animation studio in Stoke set up by former Staffordshire University graduates Daniel Waterman and Gary Carse, are also hosting Thistley Hough Academy students Luke Griffin and Damilola Oyebo.
Daniel Waterman, company director said hosting student placements was an essential part of creating and retaining a talent pool of skilled young people in Staffordshire.
He said: “As what we do is quite specialist it’s essential for us to have a talent pool locally which we can draw on, which is why we link with schools, colleges and universities to offer work experience. We try and foster their interest in what we do so hopefully they will come back to join us on projects in the future.
“I wasn’t able to get work experience in the industry when I was at school, even though I was quite ambitious at 13 and handwrote letters to lots of production companies. No one gave me that chance, so as Staffordshire’s only animation studio we have a responsibility to offer that opportunity to others.
“Luke was interested in animation and had done some stop motion animation at home, so we have shown him how to do some 3D animation on software called Maya, which is the same that animation production studios like Pixar use
“Hopefully it’s been fun for him and he will take what he’s learned and keep practicing, so that in a few years we may see him again.”
For more information about Thistley Hough Academy log on to www.thistleyhoughacademy.org.uk or call 01782 883 500.
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