THEY may still be at school but ambitious teenagers are determined to get a foot on the career ladder.

Sixth-formers at Rumworth Special School, in Ladybridge, are ensuring they are one step ahead of the competition when they leave this summer.

The teenagers are taking part in Rumworth Go Large, the first project of its kind.

Funded by the Big Lottery, sixth formers leave the classroom to learn about the workplace and develop “employability skills”.

Neil West, tutor at Study@BWFC said: “Rumworth School approached the study centre to coordinate an employability, workrelated activity to help the students develop the skills and aptitude needed at work.”

Study@BWFC, which works with schools, used its links with organisations and businesses to find the young people placements within a wide range of sectors, including De Vere Whites Hotel, The Wildlife Trust and Community Allotment and other businesses.

Now every Wednesday, the sixth formers learn all about working life, from health and safety, to the different jobs on offer — as well as the all important skill of networking with the town’s big employers.

Back at the Study@BWFC, within the Reebok Stadium, the young people are given tips on how to write an eye-catching CV and be successful at interview.

They are also compiling a portfolio to impress at work or college interviews, which will go towards their ASDAN employability qualification.

Mr West said: “The majority of young people already had ambitions and we have worked to get placements around them, for example in the hotel.

“The difference in them has been the increase in confidence.”

Academically the pupils’ numeracy skills are improving and they will take lessons in money management and personal finance.

Mr West said: “The young people have also been making useful contacts, they are getting to know managers who make the decisions.

“It is hard for young people today and businesses and organisations are happy to help if they can.”

Manager of De Vere Whites, Gordon Clapperton, added: “I am all for projects like these, it has been fantastic for all the team.

“It has been a great honour to be part of this and help young people experience what it is like in a workplace and in a environment outside school.”

The young people said they had developed a lot by taking part in the project.

Colin Cywinski, aged 17, said: “Taking part in this project has made me more confident and given me the chance to meet more people and network.

“I have found out about so many different roles within a hotel.”

Sarah Owen, aged 17, added: “It has been a good project to prepare us for life after school.”

Sophie Harper, aged 17, said: “I have really enjoyed taking part and the experience it has given me.”

Usman Ali, aged 17, said: “I was a bit nervous when I started but now I have so much more confidence.”