From “Energy from Waste” to Beams and Lloyds Banking Group,
London South East Colleges offer a diverse range of Work Experience for students during Work Experience Month (and all year round!)
24th. October 2018
It’s an extremely busy week in an extremely busy Work Experience Month for Gold level Work Experience Quality Standard accredited London South East Colleges. It’s had three very different Work Experience opportunities on offer to its students for this year’s Work Experience Month, from banking and health and social care to energy and waste management.
London South East Colleges offers all full-time students the opportunity to work towards a Career Advantage programme, alongside studying their main course. This provides them with the crucial skills required by employers and universities to give them that all-important competitive edge. The programme focuses their attention on collecting social, employability, entrepreneurial, digital and IT skills. Throughout the year, the students work towards a portfolio of achievements in these areas and can achieve bronze, silver and gold awards.
Cory Riverside Energy Work Experience Week
Monday 22th. October 2018– Friday 26 October 2018
This week, Cory Riverside Energy has been accommodating London South East Colleges’ students for a week’s Work Experience, which is Industrial Cadet accredited. The students are getting the opportunity to learn all about the company and what it does and to gain valuable industry experience.
A whole range of activities is introducing the students to the industry, the bigger picture of Cory, the journey of “Energy from Waste” and how teams work together to build a successful business. Students are also getting to see two of the company’s major operations in action, including a trip down the Thames on one of its tugs, and have been following members of the team and engaging in activities based at the “Energy from Waste” plant.
There have also been opportunities for the students to acquire skills for interviews and to find out what skills are needed in order to be successful in varied roles - plus learning about the wider world of employment. At the end of this week, the students will present their findings to members of staff, demonstrating their presenting skills which are so important.
All students who complete the week will graduate as “Industrial Cadets” and receive individual feedback based on their performance throughout the week.
The week has been sponsored by EDT (Engineering Development Trust) which delivers more than 40,000 STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) experiences each year, across the UK, for young people aged 9 -21. Its range of work-related learning schemes provides opportunities for young people to enhance their technical, personal and employability skills. EDT also helps develop partnerships, building links between educators and industry employers, helping organisations to reach talent and to connect with young engineers and scientists across the UK.
Caring students find quality work experience at Beams
Monday 15th. October 2018– Friday 19th. October 2018
Last week saw the culmination of a group Work Experience project for students on the Health, Care and Young People Level 1 Certificate at Greenwich Campus. They have just completed a five-day placement, working to improve facilities and environments at a children’s day and short-breaks unit in Hextable, Kent.
Beams is a charity that provides comprehensive support services to families of children and young people with any form of physical, learning or sensory impairment who live in the Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley areas.
During the Work Experience placement, the students became acquainted with the centre, its staff, children and parents, and were given the opportunity to engage fully with many of the activities that take place there. They spent much of their time clearing and preparing spaces to make room for new apparatus and play areas, and they even repaired and painted the unit’s perimeter fence using the charity’s corporate colours.
The students’ tutor, Jacqui Brooks, has worked with the college’s Work Experience Department to plan and bring the Beams project to life this term. Jacqui says: “I’ve worked alongside members of the Trust for three years and, as it has developed, it has thrown-up a number of potential starter-opportunities that I believed our students would be interested in. From day one, they have been consumed with the work they have been performing here and have been eager to learn more about the day-to-day running of the service. Several students have even enquired about returning to work here during the summer when Beams will run its Summer play schemes.”
Amy Dale, 16, from Thamesmead would like to study to become a midwife after completing her levels 1 to 3 courses at the college. She hopes to become a volunteer at the centre and spend more time working with the children who attend. She says: “I’ve always wanted to work in the caring sector and I feel like this type of work is my ultimate calling in life. It gives me so much pleasure to know I’m helping other people, particularly those less fortunate than me, to learn, explore and enjoy their lives. I would love to come and work here and I think I can supplement my studies by becoming more hands-on and learning from the professionals.”
Katrina Adams is the Head of the Beams Charity and is delighted with the work the students have carried out. In a letter to the College she writes: “We have been so impressed with the students. Their behaviour, kindness and sincerity have been truly amazing. I can’t wait to see them back again soon.”
The students will soon be working with a group of business students to take part in fundraising activities. They aim to form a partnership and create a number of small enterprises within the College to sell cakes, snacks and soft drinks around the campuses and raise funds for new tools and materials for future projects with Beams.
Lloyds Banking Group boost students’ career advantage
This month has also seen a team of banking sector experts from Lloyds Banking Group visit London South East Colleges’ Bromley and Orpington campuses to run workshops dealing with employability, work experience, CV building and presentation.
The team of seven shared their expertise and experience of corporate and business banking and gave students practical tips about applying for jobs, putting together an impressive CV, interview buzzwords and preparation techniques. Most importantly, the team emphasised the need for each individual to build and manage a strong ‘personal brand’.
Students from a range of subject areas, including business, accounting, IT, public services, hair and beauty, art, design and media attended the workshops throughout an intense day, taking part in live discussions, question and answer sessions and interview role-plays.
Aryan, 19, from Bromley, is a level 2 business student who would like to work in banking after going to university. He came away from the workshop having discovered a ‘bigger picture’ of the career path on which he wishes to embark and the standards he will need to reach and maintain in order to be successful.
He said: “I’ve learned some great things today. The idea of creating a catalogue of my good qualities and unique selling points and communicating these effectively to potential employers and clients is very important. This workshop has made clear the kind of positive personal attributes I need to work on before I start applying for jobs.”
Melody Fowler-Wright, from Lloyds Banking Group Retail Chief Operating Office, was a member of the team giving advice at the workshops. She said: “We really wanted to press the importance of students building a ‘brand’ for themselves to show employers. This means understanding their strengths, identifying the transferable skills built through school work, hobbies and part-time jobs; and ensuring their personal presentation and punctuality reinforces their personal brand.”
"The students were very perceptive and had a huge amount of potential amongst them. We hope today helped all of them progress towards achieving their bronze awards and that they will take their learnings forward to be successful in the workplace.”