Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Gold Star Work Placement Student Patrick Lands Marks and Spencer Job

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Gold Star Work Placement Student Patrick Lands Marks and Spencer Job

Article excerpt

HARD-WORKING Excelsior Academy student Patrick Larsen is leaving the classroom for the shopfloor - his reward after impressing bosses at Marks and Spencer so much on a work placement that they offered him a job.

The 18-year-old is one of 14 students from the academy's sixth form Excelsior College working with some of the biggest retail names on the UK high street.

Excelsior enjoys a Retail Gold work placement partnership with intu, the real estate company which owns some of the UK's best-known shopping centres, including the Metrocentre and Eldon Square, which attract more than 400 million customer visits every year.

Patrick was based at Marks and Spencer's homeware department in its Eldon Square store for six months, undergoing an interview and induction training while studying a BTEC Level 3 Retail Knowledge course at Excelsior College.

Peter Stead, Excelsior business studies teacher, said: "Patrick has really thrived on his work placement - he's a people person and I think his achievement is exceptional.

"He has so much ability and the encouragement he's had in such a nurturing environment which Marks and Spencer give our students has been so rewarding for him.

"His attendance has been exemplary on his work placement and his attitude has made him stand out."

Patrick, who will begin his working life as a sales assistant working weekend hours at Marks and Spencer, said: "I'm so happy about getting a job here - it was really nice for me to get the offer out of the blue.

"Before my work placement I'd never thought about how much goes on behind the scenes. Now I want to be a manager; I'd like to give people like me the same opportunities I've had."

David Gillin, Marks and Spencer customer assistant recruitment, said: "Patrick impressed us from day one.

"He rolled up his sleeves and got stuck in with any task that was given to him. …

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