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Work experience pupils explore local authority roles

Bradley Williams Gail Rowe and Cllr HeywoodThe average age of a Lambeth council worker plummeted last week thanks to 21 local school pupils. The council opened its doors to 14- and 15-year-olds from Elmgreen School in Tulse Hill for their week of work experience.

The students took on a variety of roles, working with teams in planning, libraries, legal services and in the office of Cllr Lib Peck, leader of the council.

During the week the students also met Lambeth’s Chief Executive Derrick Anderson, Cllr Jackie Meldrum, Lambeth’s Deputy Leader and Cllr Rachel Heywood, Cabinet Member for Children and Families.

Cllr Heywood said: “It’s through meeting people in the workplace that young people can find out the kind of jobs that exist.

“I’m glad the council was able to help – it’s a tough job market and work experience is an great  way to help young people prepare for it.”

Six students braved the elements working in the borough’s parks. They helped with a presentation to the Clapham Common Management Advisory Committee and with a river clean-up day at Streatham Rookery.

Their supervisor, Dr Iain Boulton said “We were all delighted with their commitment, patience and hard work. Although it was wet, windy and cold, they stuck at it and never complained. I think they now have a good idea of what it’s like to manage and maintain open spaces.”

Other students undertook research with businesses for the Your New Town Hall project and for the council’s Enterprise team.

Fatima, who spent the week with the legal team said she’d learnt that she should “always be on time, always wear smart clothes and look presentable”. Although she’d not previously thought of a legal career she was now considering different career choices.

Providing a young person’s perspective was a benefit recognised by council staff and members. Cllr Peck encouraged all the students to feed back any thoughts or ideas they had about the council.

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