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A group of construction students at Sandwell College are being helped onto the career ladder by Sandwell Council.

Thirteen carpentry and painting and decorating students have been offered work experience placements by Sandwell Council managers, who have significant industry links in the construction trade.

The students will now go on to work with local employers, giving them the chance to put their college skills into real-life practice. They are being invited to an information session on practicalities of work, including travel logistics, employers’ expectations and hours of work. They will later have interviews with interested companies who are already signed up to the scheme.

Councillor Paul Moore, Sandwell Council’s cabinet member for regeneration and economic development, said: “It’s vital we do all we can to give our young people the first step on the career ladder, gaining experience that can transform their chances in life. This scheme gives students a brilliant opportunity to gain hands-on skills from contractors working on building projects in Sandwell. It’s great to team up with Sandwell College to offer these students the chance to work alongside our skilled staff and local employers.”

Ann Sheridan, Sandwell College’s director of quality, student studies and innovation, said: “We rely on high quality work experience placements for our students to experience real-life professional environments and develop their employability skills, and our partnership with Sandwell Council and the Think Sandwell team gives us the opportunity to do just that. We are looking forward to developing more opportunities for working together, and shaping our students’ future careers.”

Students have also been receiving interview preparation tips and techniques from the college’s own careers team, as well as personal mentoring from their tutors and the new Careers Plus employment and work experience hub.