Students have a chance to sample the world of work

Students inspired by an insight into the world of work with a major Hastings business have put their skills on show to promote stronger links between education and business.

Bexhill College students were challenged to work with Marshall Tufflex to produce a video highlighting the work of the county’s employers in supporting the government’s ‘Skills Agenda’.

The video made by the students.

Katherine Rush, one of the teachers involved in the project said the assignment had been a ‘brilliant experience’ for students and had enabled them to develop new skills and build their confidence: “We were fortunate to have a real client and brief to work to, to give the students a real opportunity and one they can use on their CV and personal statement for university,” she said.

Student Jay Jay said it was a great experience: “It’s something I’ve never done before and I’ve gained new skills.”

Fellow student Jessie was enthusiastic about the project: “The corporate video was a good experience seeing what it would be like to work in the real world.”

East Sussex Enterprise Adviser Network (EAN), under whose auspices the project was carried out, is a Skills East Sussex initiative, funded by East Sussex County Council and the Careers and Enterprise Company, it is part of a national scheme linking secondary schools and colleges with local business to help them develop enterprise and careers education strategies and boost skills.

Councillor Rupert Simmons, the county council’s lead member for economy, said: “We are delighted with the efforts of students from Bexhill College in promoting the benefits of the EAN. It’s a fantastic example of the capabilities of young people when given an opportunity, and shows the strong links between the college and a local employer, like Marshall Tufflex.

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“Providing young people with real life opportunities to develop skills and gain experience in the work place is extremely important, and it is great to see the difference the scheme has made to the students.

“Through our EAN we support businesses to help the future workforce and address skills gaps in the county. I would encourage more businesses, schools and colleges to take full advantage of the benefits of this scheme.”

With support from an Enterprise Coordinator, who is funded by the county council and The Careers and Enterprise Company, businesses help a school develop strategies including activities and information to promote career paths and employability skills, and also to help students build links with other local businesses.

Marshall Tufflex is committed to tackling the skills gap in the county and is one of many local businesses signed up to the scheme. The company has recently become a ‘Cornerstone Employer’ for the newly announced Hastings Opportunity Area, committing to working with schools to inspire pupils.

Steve Baldry, Human Resources Manager at Marshall Tufflex, said: “The majority of our employees come through the UK’s education system, so as an employer the need to work with schools and colleges to build a better bridge between the world of work and education is important, especially if we’re to help shape and inform tomorrow’s workforce on our specific needs and help develop their work skills.”

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