Thursday, February 9th, 2017.

Claire Goodwill and Dawn Charlton at the SCHOOLSNorth East event

Excelsior Academy’s award-winning apprenticeships programme took centre stage today at a top regional event for senior education leaders.

Excelsior College Principal Claire Goodwill and Business Manager Dawn Charlton told delegates at SCHOOLSNorth East’s Future Ready 17 conference in Hardwick Hall Hotel, County Durham, about the success of the scheme.

The academy was invited to speak at the event by SCHOOLSNorth East keen to know more about the programme which has made news headlines for its dedication to giving students access to superb careers opportunities.

Excelsior employs former sixth form college apprentices as kitchen staff, curriculum support workers, HR administrators, IT support and marketing and reprographics assistants – as well as enjoying close links with business.

Executive Principal Craig Taylor said: “This event brings senior leaders and careers leads from schools across the region together to discuss how to prepare young people for life after school.

“Key themes include good careers guidance, character education and business engagement. As part of this, they want to showcase good practice taking place in schools across the region.

“We were invited after the organising committee read an article in The Journal about the fantastic apprentice programme at Excelsior Academy.

“It is again another positive endorsement that we have been asked to present on careers and apprenticeships at a major conference.”

Excelsior Academy and the Laidlaw Schools Trust were named top employer for its apprentice programme at the Newcastle City Council Adult Learning Celebration of Success awards in the summer.

Judges praised Excelsior’s “fantastic” work with its students to find them career opportunities.

Excelsior’s careers work includes partnerships with the Engineering Training Centre on Newcastle’s Scotswood Road and retail giant intu which owns the Metro Centre and Eldon Square.