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Business Mentors Give Students a Head Start on all Things Employability

posted 24 Sep 2014, 03:40 by khunt@millbrookacademy.org
On Monday 22 September 2014, 28 business volunteers from 12 different businesses arrived at Blackfriars Priory in Gloucester to meet students from Millbrook Academy, Pittville School, All Saints Academy and Rednock School.

The purpose of this Employability Day was to give local pupils an insight into the world of work, providing them with a unique opportunity to hear from and work directly with businesses mentors from Boots, Ecclesiastical Insurance, Magnox, Lloyds, Asda, Halifax, Commercial Group, Gloucestershire College and Gloucester VSC Alliance to understand the various routes into employment.

Working alongside the business mentors, Years 10, 12 and 13 students gained a thorough understanding of the key employability skills businesses look for in their potential recruits, explored ways of developing and evidencing their own skills and abilities and created their own personal profile to promote themselves to potential employers. They then used some of the techniques they learned by participating in practice interviews.

They also heard from entrepreneur Symon Bye from Commercial Group about the skills and attributes needed to succeed in starting up a business of their own and learned how to develop a unique idea into a credible business plan.

Elizabeth Carrington-Porter, Education Manager for Business in the Community said, “We know from research by the Education and Employers Taskforce that young people who have four or more employer contacts are five times less likely to become NEET (not in employment, education or training) than those who have no involvement. Bringing businesses and young people together in a structured and supportive way has a lasting impact on young people and will help them achieve a more successful transition between education and the world of work. Thanks to Ecclesiastical Insurance, Magnox, Lloyds Banking Group and Gloucester City Centre Partnership for sponsoring this event.”

Facilitator for the event, Stuart Langworthy, holder of the Queens Award for Enterprise Promotion, said, “Many employers claim to find it difficult to find young people who are employable. This event helped the young people to understand what employers are looking for and the students were surprised to hear how much importance employers place on personality and interests outside of the classroom.”

A recent survey by Business in the Community revealed that young people want more time with and access to professional business people.

Speaking about the importance of business engagement for students, Jamie Versaci, Head of Business Studies at Millbrook Academy commented, “The students from Millbrook Academy had a fantastic day at the Employability event. The opportunity to speak directly to employers about what they look for in an employee is invaluable. The advice they were given about their applications and the experience of the mock interviews will give them essential skills for their future. Some of our students have been inspired to apply for apprenticeships and internships as a result of the day, which is a fantastic result.”

The Employability Day was just one of the many collaborative activities organised by Business in the Community as part of their flagship education programme, Business Class. Business Class is a nationwide programme that creates long-term strategic partnerships between leading businesses and secondary schools. Over 390 partnerships involving over 200 businesses have been created across the UK – reaching 66,000 young people. To find out how your business can get involved to support the next generation, please visit www.bitc.org/programmes/business-class or call Elizabeth Carrington-Porter at BITC on 07718 341350


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