STUDENTS at Highbury College took control of Port Solent’s businesses in a bid to give them a taste of life in the workplace.
They ran restaurants, shops and leisure outlets in what was called the Highbury Handover.
Students in hospitality and catering, business studies, beauty and sports and fitness had the chance to apply their skills they had learnt in college.
They worked in places including Pizza Express, Chiquito, David Lloyd Leisure Centre and the Odeon cinema.
Kate Campbell is employment services co-ordinator at the college.
She said: ‘It’s about giving our students employability skills, getting them into real workplaces with real employers.
‘It’s valuable. All these real-life skills are important. It went well.’
Highbury Handover has been developed by the college and Port Solent to bring young people and employers together in a bid to reduce youth unemployment.
Shakira Tettersell, 18, is studying Level 3 catering and worked in Pizza Express.
She said: ‘It’s a good idea. I want to try different things and different experiences.
‘You get to see how a real kitchen works and you can try new things.’
Andy Philip is operations manager at The Boardwalk.
He said: ‘It’s a brilliant experience for them.
‘It’s interesting for us because we have to step outside of our normal role. There’s a big difference between college life and working-life reality.
‘For employers, it’s better because they are over the age of 16 and they can get involved in more.’
Ashleigh Beech, 16, is studying travel and tourism. She said: ‘It was a good experience. You will have it on your CV which is a good benefit.’