YOUNG people on a programme to turn their lives around have been put through their paces in mock interviews.

The HITZ programme, which is based at Leigh Sports Village, offers 16-19 year-olds a combination of sport and education training.

The programme is delivered by Sharks Community Trust and was developed by Premiership Rugby.

As part of its employment-based skills it helps young people with CV creation, interview techniques and mock interviews.

Programme leaders teamed up with Spinning Gate Shopping Centre in Leigh last year to set up a partnership.

Centre manager Karen Cox has now carried out mock interviews to give the learners a chance to experience an interview in a commercial environment.

It is hoped that the interviews will also boost their confidence in applying for jobs in the future.

Karen Cox said: “Interviews can often be a daunting prospect, especially if it is your first interview experience.

"Spinning Gate is delighted to help support the HITZ learners, assist with their career prospects and hear about the learners gaining employment.”

Each of the young people were given certificates after the mock interviews and feedback on their performances.

HITZ learner Tom Williams said: “The mock interview process has helped me to gain more experience and I feel more confident with what is expected in an interview.

"The feedback has helped me understand the importance of your mannerisms and how to answer specific questions.”

The shopping centre's contribution to the programme has been praised.

Sale Sharks HITZ programme leader Jon Travena said: “This is an excellent opportunity for our learners to showcase their skills.

"The learners are able to participate in a ‘real life’ interview, which will help them prepare for their future progressions.

"Many thanks to Spinning Gate for providing this opportunity for our learners."