The official launch of a new CEIL (Centre of Excellence for Industrial Liaison) at Ferndown Upper School (FUS) on 29 April will bridge the gap between education and employment.
Set up in the school’s 6th Form block, it comprises a business office with a boardroom and reception. It will help students who follow the CEIL programme, which connects students with local industry, to feel confident in a business environment and develop the ‘soft skills’ required in the work place.
Cindy Lalani FUS School Business Manager said, “The concept was devised and created by Marcel Ciantar at Budmouth. FUS is one of the first schools in the country to begin the programme, which started here in 2014 albeit without the dedicated area. We now realise it is a crucial aspect of the programme.”
About CEIL Headteacher Alex Wills said, “It is a very challenging programme and that’s the whole idea, because if students get used to being challenged in school they are ready for all the challenges they are going to face out there in the wider world.”
Marcel Ciantar, the man behind CEIL added, “It represents the complete uprooting of the way we look at kids to get them ready for work.
“Come September, there will be six CEILs being built. We are now talking to Paris, Belgium and Germany so suddenly what started as an idea is now going pan European. It is a partnership between government, school and industry.
“Industry is coming to us directly now as a recruitment centre and this was not part of the plan at all. I think that says something. Industry can buy into it because we’re sitting on the very talent that industry wants and you can try before you buy.” He stressed that “industry has to put money into it.”
Ferndown student Bethany Spencer (18) who is about to complete the programme said CEIL had given her the skills that would help her achieve her ambition of becoming a headteacher. “Prior to CEIL I had very little experience,” she said. “It conquered my weaker skills.” She has recently attended four interviews for university, and received four offers. Bethany will be studying Primary Education at Winchester University and she felt that CEIL had helped her on her way.
Another student, Tom Vincent (17), who wants to become an engineering apprentice said, “I have just had a second interview for an apprenticeship,” and he puts this down to the help from CEIL.
Chris Chope MP added, “I think it’s brilliant. It ensures young people are in touch with what is needed.”
Linda and Peter Thornton cut the ribbon to officially open the CEIL. The couple have supported the school for seven years by supplying grants through the John Thornton Young Achievers’ Foundation, set up in memory of their son Lt John Thornton RM who was killed in Afghanistan in 2008. Peter said, “We were really keen to support this project. Money to supply computers for the CEIL has come out of the allocation of the awards this year.”
Peter will also be involved as a mentor to students.