It’s down to business for pioneer graduates

A GROUP of students from Haverstock are the first to show they mean business by successfully graduating from their two-year courses

Ben McPartland

A GROUP of students from Haverstock are the first to show they mean business by successfully graduating from their two-year courses.

The five students - Halima Ahmed, 18, Oz Huner, 18, Kwong Chai, 18, Joanne Higgins, 18, and Dayana Akello, 17, have just completed the school's new Career Academy of Finance programme.

All five picked up their certificates at Central Hall in Westminster last Tuesday in front of Ed Balls, the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families.

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Haverstock's Academy of Finance works with companies such as Abbey to provide business experience for 16 to 19-year-olds who would not normally have such a chance.

The programme is equivalent to three A-Levels and includes one-to-one mentoring from business volunteers and a six-week paid internship.

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Mr Balls said: "Career academies are a striking example of the ground-breaking partnerships between schools, colleges and business, which can enable young people to succeed by grasping opportunities to go on to higher education and to employment."

John Dowd, headteacher at Haverstock, said: "We became a Career Academy just two years ago, so these young people are the first to graduate from Haverstock's Academy of Finance.

"I am thrilled to see the difference being part of it has made to them. Being mentored by executive directors of leading financial and management companies plays an enormous part in raising the confidence, self esteem and, of course, aspirations of these students.

"Having seen their personal growth over the last two years I am exceptionally proud of these young people and all they have achieved."

Halima Ahmed, 18, was one of the students to graduate. She said: "I chose the Career Academy programme because it contained lots of practical experience and I thought it would set me up well for employment in the future.

"I did my internship at Abbey, which gave me a lot more confidence in my own abilities. For six weeks I loved getting up every morning and going to work doing a real job in a bank - something I couldn't have imagined myself doing two years ago."

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