CHIPPING Campden School is just one of five in the country to be chosen to take part in a major pilot project.

Careers Lab, which has been put together by industry and the National Schools Partnership, was developed in response to a growing concern that youngsters are not leaving schools with the right qualifications to match the vacancies industry has to offer.

Led by National Grid, it includes household names such as Capgemini, Costain, National Express and Whitbread.

More than 200 pupils aged between 12 and 13, took part in the programme designed to offer them a unique insight into the careers of leading figures.

They were also given the opportunity to speak to them about important issues that might impact them as they make their own career decisions and take their next steps in life.

Julian Buttery, from National Grid who has co-ordinated the pilot, said: “We’re delighted Chipping Campden School has agreed to help us with this pilot.

"The feedback from pupils, teachers and parents will be invaluable in helping us see if good careers advice could be one of the major contributing factors to helping reduce youth unemployment.”

A crucial element to the programme is the network of business ambassadors that work alongside the teachers to deliver a careers education module.

The ambassadors share their knowledge of the skills required in a workforce and work with the youngsters to inspire them to think big.

Joanne King, Careers Lab Project Leader and Head of Sixth Form at Chipping Campden, said: “Whilst we don’t expect learners of age 12 and 13 to know exactly what job they want to do when they leave school, projects such as Careers Lab support our work in school where we encourage students to acquire the skills to prepare them for lifelong learning and the world of work."

The pilot which started in January runs until the end of April. The results are being captured by the National Schools Partnership and the findings presented to government and leading educational leaders in May.