Volunteers from sixteen employers grilled students in Year 10 yesterday, when they took part in a session of mock interviews.
The session, set up by Michelle Kennedy of the Support for Schools team in the Department of Work and Pensions, was part of a series of employability workshops that she has been running at the Academy with the objective of helping students to develop the skills they need to find and successfully apply for jobs.
Tony Hampson, of Wythenshawe Community Housing Group, said, “The standard was brilliant, I’ve worked in schools for 17 years and understand issues that some young people in Wythenshawe face, but I was really impressed with their confidence and ideas about what they want to do after leaving MHA. Their demeanour and manners were great, they gave sincere handshakes, good eye contact and held good conversations. They were doing things without realising that are really valuable and make them stand out from the crowd”
“We talked about pressure, and how to cope with it, and the students commented on the staff at MHA; they all felt that staff are approachable and really care. I knew today would be good, but I didn’t expect this level of quality, it’s been really refreshing.”
Student, Cameron commented, “I found it useful, I learnt about the importance of eye contact when talking to people. It gave me experience of being able to think of a good answer on the spot and being able to talk about myself”, whilst classmate Jade reported that the session helped her to develop positive body language, especially eye contact.
The employers who kindly donated their time included representatives from the Department of Work and Pensions, the Army, Vinci Construction, The Growth Company, Manchester City Council, the Manchester College, Lloyds Bank, the Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust and Wythenshawe Community Housing Group.
Mrs Walker, Assistant Principal at Manchester Health Academy, said, “Today’s experience has been invaluable for our students, giving them the opportunity to interact with people and develop a whole variety of skills. I am really proud of our students’ positive attitude today. Although some were a little nervous, they all performed brilliantly and came across as mature sensible young people. A massive thank you to the employers who gave up their time today.”