Students engage with local firms at Villiers Park event

By Anita Jaynes on February 11, 2015

The call for companies to play more of a role in the academic arena has been gathering momentum in recent years and Villiers Park Educational Trust in Swindon has taken the message seriously by organising annual opportunities in the town. Today around 200 students met the leaders of local businesses at a careers fair held at St Joseph’s Catholic College.

Students at the careers event were able to tour stands from employers such as Nationwide, Network Rail, Swindon Council, Intergraph, National Trust and Excalibur IT to obtain tailored career advice.

They were also able to quiz professionals about the world of work and hear tips on what they can do to make sure they are on route to a career in their field. The Q&A was chaired by James Phipps, entrepreneur and CEO of the Excalibur Group. He was Wiltshire Business Person of the Year in 2011 and 2012 and finalist for the IOD South West Director of the Year and Innovative CEO of the Year 2013 at the Business Excellence Awards.

Jeremy Reynolds, Scholars Programme Director at Villiers Park Educational Trust in Swindon said: “The careers event benefits the young people greatly, encouraging them to think and discuss their career aspirations and this year we wanted to open it up to more students.

“These high ability students may one day be battling it out to gain a job at one of these organisations; all of them have exemplary qualities. It is good for the organisations to see the talent of the young people in their local area.”

Recently a British Chambers of Commerce survey of 3,000 firms, found nine out of ten thought school leavers were not ready for employment, and more than half said it was the same with graduates. And a report from the National Careers Council in September 2014 highlighted a lack of consistency and availability in schools for career advice.

Villiers Park Educational Trust in Swindon, works with able students from less advantaged backgrounds helping them develop a passion for learning, reach their full academic potential and raise their aspirations. The advice given will provide students with a focus; in the younger years it helps them choose relevant A-levels, in later years it helps them choose their university degree and overall guide them towards a profession of their choice.

To find out more about Villiers Park Educational Trust visit: www.villierspark.org.uk