A SCHOOL is forging closer links with local businesses to boost future career options for its pupils.

Queen Elizabeth High School, in Hexham, will hold its first business breakfast next month, inviting local companies from every industry imaginable to sign up to find out how they could work with teenagers preparing themselves for the world of work.

During the event, to take place on Tuesday, March 10 from 9.15am, there will be a number of events held.

The executive headteacher for Hadrian Learning Trust, which runs Queen Elizabeth, Graeme Atkins will discuss the new buildings planned for the school and Hexham Middle School on site, and the future goals of the trust.

Representatives from the North East Local Enterprise Partnership will also talk about the career initiatives in schools, and what they can do to provide careers information and guidance to students, and how local businesses can assist with this.

A networking breakfast will also be provided, with ample opportunity to read the school’s alumni career journeys available too.

Assistant headteacher Katie Innes and careers admin assistant Angela Read are leading the business breakfast initiative at the school.

Ms Innes said: “We are trying to grow careers at Queen Elizabeth as part of the national agenda.

“There’s some big companies in the local area, such as Egger and Red Engineering, who we have connected with very successfully and who our students do a lot with, but we want to connect with a lot more.

“A questionnaire asking the pupils what they wanted to do threw up a lot of interesting careers.

“For example, somebody said they were interested in becoming a mortuary make-up artist.

“So we have contacted a funeral director to ask if they could come in and speak to pupils, even if just that one pupil on a one-to-one basis, so we can offer a bespoke careers package to our pupils.

“Some times, it’s not ideal getting somebody in to talk to 300 pupils because not all pupils will be interested in that career, so we want to try to tailor programmes to meet the pupils’ interest and get a wide variety of businesses involved.”

Ms Innes said that the school was keen to work with businesses too to find out which bespoke package they could provide to pupils.

Work experience was not always an option to some businesses, so other activities, such as talks or videos, would provide a benefit to the pupils, Ms Innes said.

She continued: “We can support businesses by telling them how they can support our pupils.”

Any businesses wishing to attend the business breakfast should contact Angela Read on careers@qehs.net or (01434) 610300 by Tuesday, March 3.