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Great Cornard’s Thomas Gainsborough School launches employability skills scheme to prepare sixth-form students for world of work

Sixth-form students preparing to transition into the world of work are set to benefit from a new pilot programme to learn the essentials for employment.

Thomas Gainsborough School (TGS) in Great Cornard formally launched a tailored employability skills scheme for sixth-formers earlier this month, in partnership with business consultancy Addvantage 4U.

Running until April 2024, the pilot will help 19 pupils currently in year 12 to build “human skills” for the workplace, such as resilience, perseverance, motivation, ambition, teamwork, problem-solving, tolerance and respect.

The initiative is sponsored by Sudbury-based opticians Wardale Williams, whose owner and managing director Jonathan Foreman was previously a student at TGS many years.

“As a former pupil of Thomas Gainsborough, I experienced first-hand the challenges that young people face when navigating the complex path to success,” said Mr Foreman.

“In the 1970s, we did not have the privilege of mentorship and guidance to develop crucial decision-making skills.

“Today, as a 60-year-old business owner, I am delighted to give back and make a difference in the lives of the next generation of our local community by sponsoring this programme.

“The impact of this initiative goes beyond the classroom. It has the potential to shape a generation of future leaders, innovators and professionals who are effective and happy.”

The project also aims to enhance the relationship between TGS, based in Wells Hall Road, and local businesses, to provide opportunities following graduation.

Mark van der Lande CBE, co-founder and director of Addvantage 4U, added: “We are delighted to be working with TGS on this pilot.

“It will also help to make Sudbury an even more attractive place in which to run a business.”