Published: 08:13, 19 November 2018
An initiative designed to help ease the skills shortage by business leaders holding workshops in schools across the county is proving a big success.
Organised by the Federation of Small Businesses, more than 800 businesses and students have been taking part in the Skills 30:30 events.
With FSB members in Kent rating a skills shortage as one of the top three obstacles to their business growth, Skills 30:30 is designed as a practical way for businesses to engage with students, understand their expectations and share their knowledge about the working world.
It also gives students the opportunity to meet with a wide range of businesses – from representatives from large organisations such as LinkedIn, Southeastern or NatWest, to local employers and the self-employed.
During the free two-hour event, businesses hear from a local authority and relevant recruitment groups, while students take part in an employment-related workshop. Then both groups get together for facilitated speed-networking.
The aim is for students to meet a wide range of businesses so they can consider entrepreneurship as a future career; and for businesses to understand the aspirations, talents and potential skills of young people as a future workforce.
Paul Andrews, FSB Skills lead, said: “The uptake of these workshop proves the need from both students and businesses to talk to each other. The results show how effective this can be – employers are finding new staff; students gain great insight into the world of work and businesses secure strong links with local schools.
"We’re proud of the success of these events so far and now want to encourage all schools across Kent to take up this free two hour workshop.”
Angeline Hollinshead, head of sixth form and careers lead at Wrotham School, said: “The students are still talking about the connections they made and it has made such an electric start to their final year of study. It has also been such a valuable experience for our team and we can't wait to host another event.”