THE Bishop of Winchester Academy in Bournemouth is one of the first of five schools in the UK to open its doors to CEIL – Centre of Excellence for Industrial Liaison.

Students who volunteer to join the innovative and ground-breaking scheme can boost their potential and make a difference when approaching employers for jobs.

The CEIL programme was created at Budmouth College in 2011 by director Marcel Ciantar, who wanted students to gain a heightened sense of professional awareness.

“When students enter the CEIL at Bishop of Winchester Academy they are coming into a business environment – they are not in school,” he said.

“We treat them as though they are in business and not in a school class. We want them to be different from the rest of the 85 applicants at the moment applying for each graduate job.” Topics covered include etiquette, social media presentation, career preparation and planning.

Paul Holman, vice principal at the Academy says that the CEIL programme will give their students an advantage as they discover how to overcome their professional weaknesses.

“Over 16 of our Year 11 students have joined the CEIL programme, realising that they need to be equipped to face competition in whatever vocation they wish to follow,” he said.

The CEIL prepares school leavers aged 16-19 to be able to effectively compete in their aspirations in business and industry. CEIL is funded through the collaborative sponsorship of businesses keen to help make students “HD ready” in partnership with participating schools and colleges.