Cornish students have been getting an invaluable insight into what it is like to run their own shop thanks to a new facility.
Vocational and work-related studies students at Cornwall College Saltash are working in a new college shop, which has been set up by the students for the students, enabling learners to improve their employability, customer service and money handling skills.
They are responsible for checking the work rota, arriving to work on time and liaising with other students in a real work place type environment.
Vocational and work-related multi-options student, Cheyanne Kehoe, said working in the shop is “really helping to improve my confidence”.
“I enjoy checking all the stock is up to date and working with the customers. I’m really glad I’ve had the opportunity to get real life work experience.”
Team Lead for vocational and work-related studies, Michelle Lobb, said the experience they are getting is “invaluable”.
“They are learning how to deal with situations that they wouldn’t necessarily get to do so in a classroom.”
“Speaking to real customers, dealing with stock and handling money is initially out of the comfort zone for many of our learners, but it is fantastic to see how their confidence is improving week on week.”
Still in its early days the shop currently sells stationary, handmade crafts, sweets and snacks, however the learners have plans for the range of stock to expand.
“We will be looking to work closely with other curriculum areas here at Saltash to stock more handmade crafts. In particular, the learners want to work with the plumbing and catering students to see what they can produce for us to sell from healthy food options to candle holders,” Michelle continued.
Learning Support Practitioner, Claire German, supports the students in the shop and is finding the students “are really benefiting from the experience”.
“Their skills are improving week by week, it is really rewarding to see.”
Head of Site, Margaret Butfield, said as a Career College, “it is vital that we give our learners the opportunity to apply their employability skills in a real working environment, to ensure that they gain the correct mind set skills our employers demand.”