A NEW scheme is paying students to work in businesses as part of a drive to give more young people job experience.

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Stowmarket Town Centre Partnership has got 10 sixth-form students from Stowmarket High School involved in the initiative which will give the youngsters experience of working in local businesses.

The Stowmarket Saturday Staff project was launched with a pilot training day for the students at the Adult Learning Centre, in the town’s Ipswich Street, on Saturday.

The partnership’s town centre manager Sharon Brown said: “I know how difficult it is for young people to secure part-time work, and also that it is hard for small businesses to increase their staffing costs and employ more people.”

She added: “Part-time work is so valuable to help young people in their future careers.”

The day was led by Mrs Brown and Dawn Easter, economic development officer for Mid Suffolk District Council. Talks were given by the town mayor, Anne Whybrow, and Maria Betts-Davis, head of the sixth-form’s social science faculty.

Maria said: “We are very grateful to the town centre partnership for helping our students, and hope it will lead to more opportunities in the future.”

The students were selected for the scheme after they went through the rigours of a recruitment process giving youngsters experience in applying for work.

They will be placed in businesses in Stowmarket to work for six hours on Saturdays, with their wages paid for by the town centre partnership.

The students will be supported by the partnership throughout their work period, with a review process and certificates of achievements being awarded.

The partnership is also organising Friday’s Christmas light’s switch-on in the town.

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