AMBITIOUS young people got a taste of life after school as they prepared for career and academic success.

Year 11 Smithills School pupils met with 22 employers, including representatives from the Royal Navy, leading retail stores, colleges and from the world of medicine.

Every year the school holds a special conference where final year pupils can find out more about the opportunities awaiting them.

Head of Year 11, Rob Harrison said: "For many of our students the conference is essential as it acts as their first foray into the ‘working world’.

"It gives them an opportunity to consider the job application process and helps them understand how to conduct themselves in a formal, interview situation.

"It also allows them to show-off their strengths to an employer and decide how they can adjust their interview techniques based on professional, constructive feedback from employment specialists. For some students, may have been the first time that they were involved in such a situation."

The pupils had a chance to speak to the representatives and attend mock interviews.

Mr Harrison added: "We hope that it helps all of students to prepare them for future, formal job interviews.

"We aim to give our pupils the confidence in themselves to deal with an interview situation as a result of having gained an insight into what it is like through the types of questions we ask.

"In addition, they will be shown how to act upon the valuable constructive feedback, which they are given, in order to improve next time."

The young people were also given advice on body language, control of voice, how to fill in application forms and how to respond to feedback.

"They are taught some of the skills which employers look for, increasing their chances of getting their dream job upon leaving school," said Mr Harrison, "Our pupils have been hugely positive about the experience.

"They enjoyed the whole process and were pleased with their performances. Some were very worried prior to the interview and felt anxious but were put at ease and gained very valuable advice and guidance from the interviewers. Many said that they felt more confident now that they had been through the process and that the whole day had been extremely beneficial."

Bareena Atif, headgirl, said: "The interview was really helpful for the future, it showed us what to do and what not to do."

Qasim Arif, headboy, added: "The day allowed us to experience an insight in to the future of what interviews are truly like."