Students from 14 local schools and colleges have been given an insight into a range of businesses as part of a project to help them make the transition from education to work.

Around 500 youngsters got a taste of life in the workplace though the second Work Inspiration Week held this month by E3 Bradford, which aims to increase careers issues in schools.

The Bradford office of law firm Gordons hosted students from Beckfoot School and Oasis Academy Lister Park who met two of the firm’s apprentices, Holly Buxton and Beth Caygill, and trainee solicitor Safia Hussain.

Topics covered included job availability in the legal sector, starting salaries, the workload required to obtain a first degree and the cost comparison of university against an apprenticeship.

Holly Buxton, who is a regular ambassador for the Gordons’ apprenticeship scheme, said: “Gordons genuinely believes in supporting the next generation and ensuring that young people have the opportunities to succeed. Work Inspiration Week is an important part of that process as it opens young people’s eyes to a future of possibilities. Given the cost of university, many might not have considered a legal career before. Hearing directly from me and my colleagues about how the apprenticeship scheme works could therefore inspire them to choose that pathway towards a successful career in law.”

A group of Year 8 students from the Samuel Lister Academy in Bingley spent time at chartered accountants Watson Buckle learning about the company and accountancy careers Audit managers Gillian Corcoran and Selina Bocskei introduced the students to the Cottingley firm’s range of work, job roles and the types of qualifications needed. The youngsters were also given an insight into accounts and an overview of profit and loss, the balance sheet and notes to the accounts.

Selina said: “Hopefully they enjoyed their time here, and have taken inspiration to pursue a career in accountancy.”

Paul Mackie, E3 Bradford chairman, said: “The feedback from schools and businesses has been fantastic with both parties gaining a lot from the experience. This kind of activity has a massive impact on the choices students make and it really makes a difference – not just to them, but to everyone around them.”

Local firms providing activities included Bradford Chamber of Commerce, Barclays Bank, Rex Procter & Partners, Premier Inn, Incommunities, Borg Warner, Beaumont Robinson, Sainsbury’s and Arnold Laver.