STUDENTS from Tamworth High School and McCarthy Catholic College have undergone on-the-job training in retail as part of anew partnership to give thembetter job skills.

Retail giant Big W has teamedup with the schools throughthe not-for-profit organisation Careers Network, and students attend the Tamworth store one day a week for six weeks.

It gives them frontline exposure to aspects of store employee activities through orientation, observation, interaction and mentoring with department staff.

And successful students are getting a boost in their job prospects into the bargain.

“They are really good kids, and out of the 12 of them, I am going to take on eight to 10 as casual employees,” Big W store manager Graeme Irvine said.

“It’s a great system because instead of a short interview or a resume, employers could see students work for a period of time each week, get to know them better and see which areas they enjoy and excel at.”

To participate in the program the students had to go through a typical employment selection process of submitting an application, putting a resume together and attending an interview.

The program gives the students an opportunity to see and understand what the employment process is like after school, and the practical experience is designed to educate students to make more informed decisions when considering future subject choices and career path options.

McCarthy College student Carly Russell-White said she enjoys the customer service aspect of the retail role and has a lot of fun while she is working at the store.

Another student, Emily Orman said: “Going around the different departments and getting to experience work has definitely made me more interested in the retail industry.”

Both girls said the program and the work experience would affect their subject choices and career paths going through to Year 12 and beyond.

Head start: Students involved in the new partnership are, front, from left, Alana Russell-White, Emily Orman, Carly Russell-White, Brianna Ballard and Kate Alcock. Back, Kristianna Maloney,Steven Allwell, Nathan Pyne, Stephanie Salvadore, Natalie Holm, Bruce O’Leary,Dayle Alomes and Jessie Stanton. Photo: Geoff O’Neill 290812GOA01

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