A lesson in council working

PUBLISHED: 12:30 12 August 2008 | UPDATED: 16:26 05 May 2010

Pictured, front row, left to right, are students Oupkar Ghatore, Connie Willoughby and Lydia Stephenson with, back row, left to right, council officers John Robinson, Jenny Donovan and Rosemary Jones

Pictured, front row, left to right, are students Oupkar Ghatore, Connie Willoughby and Lydia Stephenson with, back row, left to right, council officers John Robinson, Jenny Donovan and Rosemary Jones

STUDENTS discovered for themselves how local government works when they spent a week on work experience at North Hertfordshire District Council. And the trio from Priory School, Hitchin, are going back in the autumn for one day a week until the spring as

STUDENTS discovered for themselves how local government works when they spent a week on work experience at North Hertfordshire District Council.

And the trio from Priory School, Hitchin, are going back in the autumn for one day a week until the spring as part of the Young Apprenticeship Scheme run by Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce.

It was the first time NHDC had taken part in the programme which was launched in 2004.

The Year 10 students included Oupkar Ghatore who said: "It wasn't like I expected. I thought it might be boring but it wasn't."

Lydia Stephenson, whose week in several departments included a trip out with waste contract manager Jamie Sells to see how the council recycles its waste, enjoyed her stint.

"I was a bit scared at first but people were very friendly and I soon got used to it," she said.

The third student was Connie Willoughby who learned how the human resources team deals with more than 400 council staff.

Cllr F John Smith, leader of the council, said: "Work experience provides a bridge between the very different worlds of school and work. At NHDC we are keen to help youngsters adapt and Herts Chamber of Commerce has helped us by facilitating these placements."

John McBride, education business links manager of Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said: "The Young Apprenticeship Scheme provides students with valuable experience of real work whilst studying for an NVQ in business and administration alongside their GCSEs. It also raises awareness of job opportunities that exist with employers in Hertfordshire and we, as the chamber of commerce, see it as an excellent investment in the workforce of the future."

Rosemary Jones from the council's HR team, who helped to organise the exchange, said: "By coming to us one day a week the students will be expanding their knowledge and gaining a valuable qualification.

"In return we get motivated individuals with super IT skills, something managers have already found very useful.

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