A CHESTER-le-Street school is on the look-out for former pupils to help the current crop of youngsters.

Hermitage Academy, in Waldridge Lane, is one of more than 450 state schools that have registered with the charity Future First to set up alumni networks.

More than 50,000 former pupils across Britain have already signed up to re-connect with their old school.

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They are inspiring young people as career and education role models, mentors or e-mentors, work experience providers, governors, donors or fund-raisers.

“More than 39 per cent of state school students don’t know anyone in a job they’d like to do,” said Alex Shapland-Howes, Managing Director of Future First.

“If they see that someone who went to the same school, grew up in the same community, has achieved a fulfilling and satisfying job, it helps them see it’s possible for them too.

“It’s really important for all students to be motivated to succeed in the working world and hearing first hand from relatable people in interesting jobs can make a huge difference.”

Judi Johnson, Hermitage’s Director of Sixth Form Studies, said, “We signed up to Future First’s scheme a couple of years ago and our alumni is beginning to grow. 

“A network of past pupils with all their valuable experience will be vital in helping us to broaden current students’ jobs horizons and equip them for the world of work.

“We have a history of excellent relationships with our past students and hope that many more will join the scheme.”

Former Hermitage pupils who want to help can e-mail Ms Johnson at jjohnson@thehermitageacademy.net.

They can also sign up to Future First’s alumni scheme by clicking on the former students link on the website www.futurefirst.org.uk