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Businesses rally to help boost careers

Businesses rally to tackle Youth Unemployment, at Benton Park School, Rawdon, Leeds. Matt Bates (left) the founder at Model Education and Paul Shakeshaft (Yazz Hair) chat to pupils at the school.....SH1001/98a...21st January 2014

Businesses rally to tackle Youth Unemployment, at Benton Park School, Rawdon, Leeds. Matt Bates (left) the founder at Model Education and Paul Shakeshaft (Yazz Hair) chat to pupils at the school.....SH1001/98a...21st January 2014

BUSINESSES at the heart of a Leeds community put their hands in their pockets to support a ground-breaking initiative to help school-leavers get their first step on the career ladder.

A former pupil at Benton Park School in Rawdon, Matt Bates, rallied local businesses to sponsor a series of workshops at the school to tackle the alarming rise in youth unemployment.

He runs The Model Education which aims to equip pupils with a range of skills to improve their performance at job interviews and boost employment prospects. Matt has worked all over the world for 20 years as a fashion model and took the lessons he learned from the catwalk to pupils - teaching the importance of first impressions, body language, confidence and self-esteem, what to wear and put them through their paces in a mock interview.

He was able to put on the workshops at the school thanks to local businesses - including a hairdresser, electrician and model agency boss - sponsoring the pupils’ attendance.

Matt said: “This isn’t the X-Factor. I always stress that the next time they will be doing this will be for real. We know a large percentage of leavers will work within a few miles of their school. This is a tremendous example of today’s employers supporting their employees of tomorrow, nurturing the pool of ‘home grown’ talent that exists on their doorstep in a novel way.”

The school’s senior leadership team associate Mark Ross said: “Benton Park is at the heart of the local community and this new partnership will offer our students an opportunity to learn a serious message about how to embark successfully on a career in a fun way. We’re grateful to the local businesses who are supporting the students to have this opportunity.”

Former Benton Park pupil Paul Shakeshaft, of Yazz Hair, said: “We work with the school in various ways already but this is a rewarding and innovative initiative we are pleased to support as a potential future employe.”

Matt hopes other businesses will follow the example of Rawdon companies and sponsor pupils to take part in a session in their local area. Visit www.themodeleducation.co.uk.

 

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