MORE than 80 students from local secondary schools got a vital insight into the world of work when they took part in a careers speed networking event at MIRA Technology Institute in June.
The careers speed networking event – which was organised by Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council (HBBC) on behalf of the Employment and Skills Taskforce – offered the students aged 12 to 14 the opportunity to gain careers advice in one-on-one, five minute networking sessions with professionals from 40 plus local businesses.
Students talked to business experts representing a cross section of business sectors about routes into careers, general work activities and opportunities for employment and apprenticeships across the borough.
Some of the area’s most successful business leaders and professionals volunteered their time to share their knowledge and experience with the students from seven local secondary schools. The schools that took part were Redmoor Academy, South Charnwood School, The Dixie Grammar School, Bosworth Academy, Hastings High School, Market Bosworth School and Heath Lane Academy.
Organisations represented include HORIBA-MIRA, Triumph, Hinckley and Rugby Building Society, JJ Churchill, Sigma, Syncreon, Cadent, Upton Steel, IM Properties, Sketchley Grange Hotel and Spa, HBBC and Checkprint.
The event also gave business representatives the chance to raise their business profile to a future workforce and increase awareness of their sector to students, who are not always aware of what opportunities are around them in the local labour market.
Richard Lawrence, Development Director at IM Properties was one of the business representatives who took part in the event. He said: “The speed networking format worked really well and provided a good illustration of the high quality of the students currently in the education system. Provided they continue to develop their skills and grow their desire to learn and work hard the local area will be in very safe hands. This type of event provides an excellent insight to us and influences where we want to direct investment in the future.”
Children, Young People and Family Champion at the Borough Council, Councillor Robin Webber-Jones said: “This event offers young people a genuine opportunity to think about their future and broaden their aspirations. Bringing students, businesses, and education providers into one place allows young people to appreciate the skills they need to develop. It helps to start a positive conversation about how the future of our local area might look as individuals develop the attributes needed to thrive.”
Bill Cullen, Borough Council Chief Executive and Chair of the local Employment and Skills Task Force added: “This is the first time such an event of this scale has been held with local businesses engaging with young people delivering career advice and promoting job opportunities, apprenticeships and training in the Hinckley and Bosworth area. It was such a success we will definitely be looking to repeat it on an annual basis. I would like to express my thanks to all the organisations who helped support and participated in the event and to MIRA Technology for hosting us.”
Lisa Bingley, the MTI’s director of operations said, “Events like these are so important to securing the future skills pipeline and that is why we were delighted to host so many local employers and talented students. We all have a responsibility to forge strong links between schools, colleges and businesses and there are so many ways in which we can work together to nurture the future workforce. Ideally, the relationship between business and education needs to be developed as part of ongoing, long-term partnerships. Whether your recruits come from colleges or universities, it makes sense to be close to the source of your human resources. As we have seen at this event, when businesses make a point of reaching out to local schools, they are warmly received.”