Students praised for sharing ‘new perspectives’ with one of Harrogate’s biggest employers

A high-profile local business has praised Harrogate College students for the fresh thinking they contributed during a work experience placement.

Three Digital Media students joined the Techbuyer Group, a sustainable IT solutions provider that operates globally with its roots firmly in Harrogate.

One was welcomed by Techbuyer’s marketing team while the other two joined the firm’s sister company, Ortial, for the week-long placement.

A rewarding and seamless experience

Techbuyer, a member of the Harrogate College Employers’ Network, was delighted with how the students got on and the contribution they made.

Senior Marketing Coordinator at Techbuyer, Maral O’Brien, said: “This was a rewarding experience all round.

“We benefited from the new ideas and perspectives imparted by the  students, and found working with Harrogate College to be hassle-free.

“We found that setting up the work experience was easy, with a placement coordinator from the college helping to facilitate the selection of students, making it a seamless process. Techbuyer would recommend working with Harrogate College to other businesses in the area – it’s an impactful way to help young people become career-ready.

“The work experience opportunity was also a good way of furthering our goal of educating young people about sustainable digital practices in our local community.

“Building and developing links within our community is so important to us, and we look forward to continuing to work closely with the college and other local organisations.”

Allies in the fight for sustainability

Techbuyer’s commitment to sustainable practices saw it named Circular Economy Business of the Year at the IEMA Awards, in 2020. The business also set itself nine ambitious targets focused on education, health and wellbeing, and responsible consumption, in 2019 as part of its commitment to the UN Global Goals.

Harrogate College has also put the environment and sustainability at the heart of its operations, and has a Sustainability Pledge which outlines its ambitions to become net zero carbon by 2030.

The college also teaches carbon literacy training and continually updates its courses to ensure they meet the demand for green skills and have sustainability embedded within them. 

In March, meanwhile, the college held a Green Month packed with environmentally-targeted activities and talks.

Maral said this made the college a natural ally: “Contributing to the UN Global Goals is a company-wide effort, and it is initiatives like the recent work experience placement with Harrogate College that showcase our commitment to education and to our local community.

“There is a clear link with Harrogate College in that they aim to instill key sustainability skills through every course in their curriculum, to shape and advance students’ career prospects.”

To find out about setting up work experience opportunities with the college, email contact placement coordinator Susan Roberts at Susan.Roberts@harrogate.ac.uk.

Meet an Employer – Round 2

A free webinar series that was started to keep businesses and students in touch during the pandemic is about to resume.

Harrogate College teamed up with the Department for Work and Pensions to launch in October, 2020. 

The scheme involves the college hosting webinars, featuring local businesses, that are streamed to students and jobseekers to help boost their employability skills and keep them informed of potential opportunities.

An electrifying new start

The online venture proved a hit over its first, ten-session run. Now the college is preparing to launch the second season on Tuesday 5 October with a session featuring eDub – a business that specialises in electric car conversions.

The webinar starts at 1pm and will be an opportunity to find out more about the company and ask questions. Individuals from eDub will also talk about their own career journeys and share insights into how to break into their line of work.

Feedback from the businesses that took part in the first round of Meet an Employer was overwhelmingly positive, with many commenting on what a great opportunity it was to showcase their services while giving something back.

Some of the webinars led to follow-up, one-to-one conversations and even job offers.

Keeping up the momentum

Harrogate College’s Partnerships and Development Lead, Holly Hansen-Maughan, said: “We had such a positive response from the first round of Meet an Employer. The webinars can be viewed by students from across Luminate Education Group – which includes Harrogate College, Leeds City College and Keighley College – and interested jobseekers.

“The scheme was started to help boost job opportunities and mobility, initially during lockdown, while allowing the college to serve its community which is always our number one goal.

“It was very successful and with a new programme of webinars now about to start we are aiming to keep the momentum going.

“We’re hoping lots of students and jobseekers will sign up to take part and I would urge other local businesses who haven’t done so yet to get in touch to see how they can get involved.”

To book a place on the next webinar click here. Details of further Meet an Employer sessions will be added to harrogate-college.ac.uk/contact/events as the year progresses. Any businesses interested in getting involved should e-mail Holly.Hansen-Maughan@harrogate.ac.uk for more details.

Help us deliver the workforce you need

Businesses are being offered a chance to help create the workforce they need – by joining the Harrogate College Employers’ Network.

The network will be launched on Thursday 21 October when some of the biggest names from the district’s business community, including Techbuyer, will be among the attendees.

Keen to support the local economy, the college wants to hear from local employers about the exact skills they need so that it can tailor its courses accordingly.

Principal of Harrogate College Danny Wild, who will be taking part on the day, said the aim of the new network was to deliver a truly employer-led curriculum.

Tailoring courses to match the needs of our community

He said: “We value the input of local employers and believe they should help shape our curriculum so they can access the skills and training they need now and in the future.

“That is why we are launching the Harrogate College Employers’ Network.

“This is an opportunity for employers to influence the content of our courses so that they get the skilled employees they need coming through.

“We are launching this network to serve and match the needs of our community and hope lots of local businesses will join up, contribute and reap the benefits.”

A multitude of benefits

Performance and Projects Coordinator at Harrogate College, Holly Hansen-Maughan, added: “The network will be an opportunity for employers to influence the content of the college’s courses so that they are provided with what they need.

“Joining involves participating in discussion groups quarterly and brings with it a multitude of benefits, including free advertising and promotion across the college’s media platforms and events.”

Network members will also get:

The initiative coincides with the Government’s drive to ‘level up’ skills across the country, as outlined in the Skills and Post-16 Education Bill.

A key part of the Bill, as outlined by Apprenticeships and Skills Minister Gillian Keegan, is to ensure that the education and training that is on offer ‘meets the needs of employers and local communities’.

TheHarrogate College Employers’ Network launch event will run from 10am to 1pm on Thursday 21 October and include a networking buffet lunch at noon.

For more details visit Events  or email: Holly.Hansen-Maughan@harrogate.ac.uk.