WesNotts College students learn from business leaders

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Students from the Ashfield campus of West Notts College have improved their employability skills thanks to insight from local businesses, following recent support from Lloyds Banking Group Business Connector Mark Bridges.

Mark has been seconded to the local area to link up businesses to charities and community groups for mutual benefit.

Mark said: “The connections I have made on behalf of West Notts College have helped me to develop strong relationships in the local business community over the last few months, and I am delighted that this initiative has been met by such enthusiasm by students and businesses alike.

“I feel privileged that Lloyds Bank has seconded me into the heart of my local community, to enable me to make this kind of difference to the lives of the people who live here.”

He has introduced local business people to West Notts College, with sessions helping with employability skills and confidence building.

Bank manager Paul Singhal, from the Sutton-In-Ashfield Halifax branch, provided insight into what employers are looking for and reinforced that there are opportunities for students of all abilities and education level in the community.

SF Media Solutions a Web Marketing and Development agency based in the heart of Mansfield.

Peter Scully (Company Director) and Jamie Fryatt (Company Director) were former students at West Notts College and have held sessions on CV writing and understanding the impact social media activity can have on career prospects, with up to 50 students.

Peter said: “We wanted to give something back and pass on the lessons we have learned throughout our careers and from running our own business.

“We feel it is important for local businesses to give time to inspire young people and to help them fulfil their career potential and to even start business of their own.

“We are delighted to support this initiative.”

Learner support co-ordinator at the college Pete Benyon, said the support has been invaluable due to the impact of getting a ‘real-world’ message from those within industry.

He said “The students connected well with the team because they were able to respond to what was asked and what the students wanted to know.

“It’s often hard for students to relate to what they are told about industry – especially if they don’t have people at home who work – so getting to talk to people who have come direct from business has been brilliant.”

Mark Bridges is one of 60 Lloyds’ colleagues who are being seconded over a three year period providing over 100,000 man hours of support by 2015.

Lloyds has invested a total of £6.6million including the facilities for training of Business Connectors from all 29 companies involved in the programme,

The Business Connectors programme, which has been backed by HRH the Prince of Wales and Prime Minister David Cameron, is run by charity Business in the Community. The scheme puts talented individuals from the business world into communities of greatest need – allowing them to use their time, networks and expertise to connect the needs of their local community with the resource of local business.

For further information visit: http://www.bitc.org.uk/programmes/business-connectors