15 February 2017

Students put through their paces in ‘real-life’ assessment centre


Elliot Symonds, Business Development Manager at Jarrold Training and Enterprise Adviser for Framingham Earl High School, provided the opportunity for twenty seven Year 11 students to experience an Assessment Centre at Jarrold Training, St James Mill in Norwich on Tuesday 31 January 2017.

Elliot, together with five volunteer Assessors from business, Mark Thair of Reef Recruitment, Julie Rainford of Rainford HR, Lucy Webb of Brancaster House, Steve Finney of Edmundsons Electrical and Charlie Gauvain of Eye Film delivered a programme of events to assess the students Verbal Skills, Team Working, Persuasiveness, Time Management and Learning. Volunteers, Matt Reed of Jarrold Training, Katherine Flint of Norfolk County Council, Arthen VanderBergh and Julie Wilson of Framingham Earl also supported the day.

The activities, delivered over four hours, included a timed task to test the student’s ability to quickly analyse and interpret the written brief and agree a course of action. The exercise also tested their time management, team working and negotiation skills. A problem solving activity, with a larger group, which tested their ability to assess critically the information to make inferences, apply reasoning and draw strategic decisions. The assessors challenged the group on the validity of their conclusions to impart further pressure! The day culminated with five minute presentations on a subject they were passionate about, followed by a job interview.

The Assessors marked students for the five competencies. This together with written feedback and suggested learning aims will be given to all students over the next few weeks. In addition, some students will be offered face to face feedback to share insights to help improve their performance and fulfill their potential for the future. 

Elliot Symonds said “It was a fantastic experience for us and the feedback from the guys who helped has been utterly rewarding. It was an immensely rewarding experience for me personally and has left me feeling humbled and happy, with a tinge of jealousy for not being able to do more, but a deep hope that we will be able to help support others in the future.”

Steve Finney of Edmunsons said “he really did enjoy the experience and would certainly have employed at least a couple of those candidates based upon their performance that day. They displayed more maturity and confidence than many interviewees he had seen who were twice their age!”

Lucy Webb from Brancaster House said ‘’I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed it and thought the students did so well.’’

Julie Wilson, Assistant Principal of Framingham Earl, said “It was everything we hoped it could be and students came away buzzing. Elliot and his team did a magical thing for 27 young people!”

Elliot Symonds, the Enterprise Adviser for Framingham Earl, is working with the School to identify the strategic needs of career/work skills provision for students. This activity challenged the students to consider their strengths and weaknesses as they prepare for their future career/study path.   


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