A SCHEME to help students develop their employability skills has completed a successful pilot.

Darlington Cares – a partnership of the town’s employers whose skills, expertise and volunteering are matched to community based projects – has worked with a group of 20 second year students from Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form College who plan on going directly into employment after finishing their studies.

Six mentors from Cummins Engines, Darlington Borough Council, Sainsbury’s and Student Loans Company worked with small groups of students over four one-hour sessions on building an effective job application, CVs, interview skills and workplace behaviour.

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Razwana Sharif, head mentor at Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form College, said: “The feedback from students has been excellent.

“They found working with local businesses a really positive and valuable experience, enhancing the work that is already done in college which prepares them for the world of work.

“As a result of the mentoring sessions, the students have made improvements to their CVs and are more confident about producing an effective job application, how to prepare for interview and general workplace skills.”

Katie Blundell, Darlington Cares programme manager, said: “We are delighted with the outcome of the pilot and the value the students have taken from the programme.

“We are looking forward to developing the programme further, including sessions to coincide with QE’s A2 progression fortnight in June and more sessions in line with demand from students for the next mentoring cohort.

“We are also planning to roll out the scheme to others, working with our colleagues at Darlington Foundation for Jobs and the local authority.”

Further information on Darlington Cares initiatives can be found at darlingtoncares.co.uk