Pontefract and Castleford MP Yvette Cooper was on hand to cheer on Knottingley pupils at a special Choice programme graduation ceremony.
Youngsters from Simpson’s Lane Academy graduated from the programme on Friday after completing 16 weeks of taster vocational sessions.
The programme targets children who cannot access the curriculum or are at risk of underachievement or not entering education or employment post 16.
Activities include a fire fighting course, railway safety course, health education and an opportunity to experience what college life is like.
The programme, supported by Carleton Community High School, Think Family, Wakefield District Housing and others, is run by local NPT officer PC Charlie Banks. PC Banks said: “I’ve been working with 12 students from local schools. We achieved some brilliant results and all of the kids have improved, if only in a small way.”
Ms Cooper added: “I think what PC Charlie Banks and the other staff who run the programme have been doing is fantastic at supporting local pupils who can benefit from extra help and opportunities.
“The students I spoke to really enjoyed the sessions. This is why we need local neighbourhood police officers who really know the community and can be great role models for young people too.”
Police and crime commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson, who also attended the event, said: “Programmes such as this are an essential way of engaging young people and encourage them to fulfil their potential.”