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Can you inspire a young person to achieve career success?

King Edward VI College is looking for local employers to come forward as mentor for students as part ofan innovative education scheme which aims to raise the aspirations and develop the employability skills of 16 to 19-year-olds.

King Edward VI College in Nuneaton is affiliated to national charity Career Academies UK to run the KEC Business Academy programme, which provides young people with work-related experiences, including guest speakers, workplace visits and a six-week paid internship.

The college is now searching for local employers to become mentors (‘Partners in Business’) to its Business Academy students. ‘Partners in Business’ meet the student they are paired with about ten times over 18 months. Each meeting lasts approximately an hour and a half and they help the student:

  • reflect on coursework and reinforce classroom learning with real life examples
  • expand their understanding of workplace culture and etiquette
  • practice employability skills such as time management, problem solving, CV writing or interview techniques
  • widen their network of contacts for the future.

Esther Maughan, Principal said:  “We are incredibly grateful to our network of local employee volunteers, who contribute their time and skills to make a difference to the lives of our students through the Business Academy programme. At the same time we are always looking for more individuals to offer their support, particularly as Partners in Business, so that we can offer each of our Business Academy students an invaluable one-to-one mentoring experience.”

“We know that building a good, supportive relationship with a Partner in Business can help these young people recognise that there are many paths to success and greatly enhance their life and career aspirations. In addition, by providing volunteers, local employers benefit from an increase in future recruits with greater workplace awareness, and, at the same time, develop the leadership and management skills of existing staff.”

Kate Pargetor, a second year Business Academy student said “The mentor scheme is invaluable for sixth form students; Claire Wallington at Coventry Building Society helped me with job applications and interview techniques which gave me an advantage when applying for work. The internship opportunity was a brilliant experience that has made me more employable and looks great on my personal statement!

Another student Olivia Stratton said “The internship has given me more experience than any other student my age would have, this is a good advantage when applying for jobs especially since I got the chance to work within the branch of work I want to go into in my career.”

Both these students have recently had a trip to Milton Keynes representing the KEC Business Academy at an event for new Career Academy UK academies.   Here they were asked to share their experiences and take questions from the audience in a conference situation.

Councillor Dennis Harvey was a recent speaker at the college, “I was delighted to be asked to come to talk to the business students.  I was particularly pleased by their keen interest in Council Finances.  From their questions I shall have a lot to think about in proposing next year’s budget.  I have always thought that King Edward VI College is a fantastic facility for this area.  Today has confirmed that.”

If you are interested in volunteering as a mentor for a student on the KEC Business Academy, why not come along to the Presentation Evening on the 23rd November. There will be a guest speaker and presentations from the students.  There will also be the opportunity for current and future mentors to share their knowledge.

If you are interested in attending the presentation evening or volunteering as a mentor or for more information about the various volunteering opportunities available, please contact Gayle Page at Kind Edward VI College on 02476 328231.

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