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A student panel discusses the future of employability skills with 60 business representatives.

A student panel discusses the future of employability skills with 60 business representatives.

On Wednesday 9th October, a panel of students from key stages 4 and 5 joined a conference on essential skills organised by BiTC (Business in the Community). Students had the opportunity to engage with a variety of businesses, such as UBS, Heathrow Airport and Ricoh, to debate the future of employability skills and how businesses could support schools more and differently in training students to develop essential skills. Their conversation highlighted the positive impact of support from businesses and debated how to make it more influential and long lasting.

Below are quotes from our students:

‘This experience was enriching because it allowed me to gain first-hand knowledge and be able to critically discuss essential skills with business representatives.’ (Nagat – 6th former)
‘I found the conference very beneficial as it gave me the opportunity to speak to a number of professionals and have an insight into skills valued by employers.’ (Nazanin – 6th former)
‘The whole experience was really informative, listening to people’s opinions and tips on skills techniques was great. I shared my views but I also had the chance to talk to the CEO of Heathrow Airport who gave me tips on how to improve as a person.’ (Francesco – Year 10 student)
‘It was a new experience where people considered my ideas and opinions seriously, but also a chance to have advice from business representatives and an opportunity to practice my communication skills and learn to be more confident.’ (Sidra – Year 11 student)
‘It was an eye-opening experience: to see how different businesses interact and could work with schools, but also learn about employers’ expectations.’ (Alan - 6th former)

Feedback from Organisers

‘We really wanted the event to be about working collaboratively across business, education and partners so that any solutions that have been reached work for all and not just one group. Input from students to the event was an invaluable part of that and I know was very well received by all of the delegates who attended.
We would love to keep yours students in the loop with what happens with the campaign going forward so will work with the careers lead -Mr Ydri to find the best way to do that. Once again thank you all for your time, energy and great insights.’ Katy Neep – BiTC Head of Campaigning - Education

‘It was incredibly valuable for businesses to hear first-hand from pupils studying at St Augustine’s High School about how they are working to develop their essential skills and what more business can do to support and prepare them for future work.’ Cheryl Phillips – BiTC Head of Campaigning- Education

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Our students with Cheryl Phillips – BiTC Head of Campaigning, Education