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King Edward VI College students visit London to get ‘behind-the-scenes’ access to one of UK’s most influential organisations

Fifteen sixth form students from King Edward VI College, Nuneaton, recently took at trip to the Capital to get a taste of life at one of Britain’s most influential organisations and to boost their networking and employability skills.

The London Marriott opened their doors to the group of 17 Business Academy students from King Edward College and got the chance to boost their employability skills through a workplace tour. They also took part in a Q&A session, getting the unique opportunity to grill bosses about what life is like at the top.

The inspiring visit was part of a day-long event, ‘A Capital Experience’, organised by Career Academies UK, the charity that helps young people prepare for the world of work.  The day  involved a total of 1,400 students from across the UK and over 50 top London-based employer including The Marriott, Balfour Beatty and L’Oreal.  For many of the students this was not only their first time in London but also inside a large international business

Student Elliot Towlson from Barwell in Leicester said “The reason I joined the business academy was to get the best head start after I leave college and I thought this would help with my career.  The best part of the Capital Experience day was getting to see the people who had benefited out of the scheme”

After the employer visit, the group made their way to The Dominion Theatre where they got the chance to network with other young people from across the country taking part in the programme.  They also took part in business-related activities to boost their employability skills and received valuable advice from Career Academies UK Chair Heather McGregor and the FT’s Mrs Moneypenny.   Student Chirag Chavda from Coventry said “This trip was definitely an experience that I will remember for a very long time for many similar reasons. The highlight of the trip was the visit to Dominion Theatre in central London. There we participated in a talk along with more than 1500 students from all over the UK. A motivational speaker named Action Jackson gave a inspirational and interactive talk addressing the importance of setting goals and having self belief. Overall the trip was most definitely enjoyable and quite rightly a ‘Capital Experience’.  “ Nishant Patel, also from Coventry said ‘ I joined the business academy in order to experience how the real world of business operates. I saw this as a unique opportunity which enabled young students to be able to achieve their goals in their careers and were provided with mentors who can help and guide the students to make it happen!. I think what I enjoyed most about the day was learning about others success stories which began from joining the business career academy, and this truly showed to me that any of our goals are achievable if we set our minds to them and start acting on them now.’ Adrian Peberdy, teacher of business at King Edward College said –  “For some of these students it was their first trip to London.  The whole day is a fantastic experience for them and just one of the things the Business Academy offers to inspire and motivate them.  This trip is just one of the many visits and lectures the students benefit from and they also all get their own business professional as a mentor for two years.”

‘A Capital Experience’ is the biggest national one-day event in the Career Academy calendar and kicks off the two-year programme for young people taking part. King Edward VI College has been running the programme at their college for eight years now.

The Career Academy programme was set up in 2002 by Sir Win Bischoff, current Chairman of Lloyds Banking Group plc and provides a qualification equivalent to three ‘A’ levels, involving one-to-one business mentoring and a six-week paid internship.

Nationally, 95% of Career Academy graduates go on to higher education, or an equivalent level of work-related training, compared with a predicted 40% based on their GCSE performance at the start of the programme.

The Career Academy at King Edward VI College is currently supported by: Santander, Coventry Building Society, DHL, Delta Financial Systems, Warwickshire County Council, Mills and Reeve, Stewart Fletcher and Barrett and Willsons Solicitors to name a few.  If any other business is looking to get involved please contact Sam Gawn, Academy Co-ordinator (sg@kinged6nun.ac.uk)

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