Work Experience is a brilliant learning opportunity for young people. It allows you to try different things and helps you discover your strengths and what you really enjoy. Equally important, it can also enable you to understand what you don’t enjoy, so you don’t spend time working towards a goal or career that actually isn’t for you.

Whatever your future plans may be, whether it’s attending university, an apprenticeship or employment, having practical experience in the workplace, or working as a volunteer, really can help you stand out from the crowd!

In the last 18 months, our Work Experience coordinator has helped to arrange over 360 placements! These have been for students who are applying for jobs or degrees in vocational areas as well as for students who want to increase their employability skills or get a better idea of what they want to do in the future.

Recent placements have included students working at Whiston Hospital in the Cardiology, Radiography and Pathology labs; the Pharmacy at the Millennium Centre; Physiotherapy at Walk-in Centre; journalism at Educate Magazine; Veterinary surgery; primary, secondary and special educational needs; museum curator at Norton Priory Museum; experience of caring services at day nurseries and care homes.

One local company, which has been working closely with our Work Experience Co-ordinator, Vikki, is Neticonic owned by Steve Webster. Steve plans to continue to offer work placements to students in the future and has just offered Apprenticeships to two of our students!

Apprenticeships are an increasingly popular way of gaining work experience and developing a whole range of skills whilst also earning money and kick-starting your career. The number of students choosing the Apprenticeship route is increasing each year across the UK. This year, among our students who have chosen this path, are Dean Liptrot and Liam Carroll. They have just started their Apprenticeships at Neticonic, a St Helens-based company that provides Managed IT, Telecoms and Cloud services to companies throughout the North West.

Dean, who has just completed his A Levels in Biology and History, AS Computing and Core Maths said “My role will involve developing software for use within the Company and will result in me gaining Level 4 qualifications in Microsoft Software Development which are well respected in the industry. I am very grateful to the staff at Carmel for helping me to prepare for my interview. When I received the call from Steve Webster to tell me I had been one of the strongest candidates and he was offering me a position within his company, I felt absolutely elated!”

Liam, who studied A Levels in Computer Science, Statistics and Core Maths, is also delighted to have secured an Apprenticeship saying, “I will learn real-world skills working with clients whilst earning a substantial wage which is a real bonus. Plus, after two years, I will have achieved my Microsoft qualifications which are worth around £20,000 but I’ll be completely debt free which is the icing on the cake! I will always be very grateful for the support I had at Carmel, especially from my fabulous computing tutor, Kay!”

Huge congratulations to both Dean and Liam who now have very exciting futures ahead of them!