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

Harrogate College Business Newsletter – March 2022

Harrogate College prides itself on working hand in hand with local businesses and organisations to provide the skills and training they need to ensure that our economy grows and thrives. Our monthly newsletter is a handy way of keeping our partners informed of developments at the college.

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Business Newsletter, March 2022

Dear Partners,

March was Green Month at Harrogate College and we were delighted to collaborate with local businesses, community groups and residents on a variety of environmental events.

To tie in with the month, we also introduced our carbon literacy training for students and staff as part of our ongoing commitment to sustainability.

Always pleased to work closely with local firms, we were pleased to team up with two Harrogate College Employers’ Network members in March – one who came in to give a talk, while another welcomed a visiting group of our students.

Some hospitality students, meanwhile, gained valuable insights into the demands of large-scale catering by visiting Rudding Park, where they were given a guided tour. And two of our Creative Practice MA students, who have now set up their own studio space, impressed the public with their fantastic final year showing.

We hope you enjoy the read.

Danny Wild
Harrogate College

Green shoots – and carbon literacy
Some local businesses played a leading role in our Green Month activities during March.

Techbuyer & Ortial Technologies gave a workshop on Sustainable Technology and How It Affects You. Twelve students and three members of staff took part, and enjoyed a presentation followed by a practical session which involved opening up laptops to see which components were salvageable.

Other Green Month events included a talk on Designing the Purposeful Career, a presentation from food waste charity Too Good To Go, and an art competition.

Meanwhile, as part of the college’s push to reduce our environmental impact, we have begun to train all of our staff and students in carbon literacy. We are excited to also offer this training to local businesses.

For more on Green Month click here.

Rudding Park trip
Our hospitality students enjoyed a guided tour of Rudding Park as part of their enrichment activities – and to prepare them for a week of work experience with a variety of local businesses.

The trip gave them a fantastic opportunity to see a large, full-scale catering and food production operation up close – and to sample some of the food the hotel grows in its own kitchen garden.

Read the full story here.

Building business links
Tracey Hopkins from Springfield Healthcare visited the college to give a ‘day in the life of a healthcare worker’ talk to some of our Level 3 learners. Tracey also gave tips about future careers in the sector during a really engaging presentation.

Course leader David Gaunt, meanwhile, took a group of Business level 3, year 1 students out to visit a high profile local firm, Techbuyer.

The students were shown around all of the business’s departments and briefed about the next stage of their link-up, which will involve going through mock interviews. David said: “This will form part of their grade for the course and is obviously excellent real world experience.”

Art and commerce
Two of our students who have been studying a Master’s degree in Creative Practice have wowed members of the community at their final year exhibition.

Presenting their work at Hopewell Studios in Knaresborough, Gill Owen and Helen Hopper showcased their journey of studying at Harrogate College. Friends, family and guests were invited to attend the show, alongside the Mayor of Harrogate, Trevor Chapman, and his wife. 

Now their studies are complete, Gill has taken on the role of technician in the college’s ceramics department, while Helen is considering further development of her practice in exploring glass. The pair have also set up their own studio space at Spa Studios.

Read more here.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this edition of our Business Newsletter – we’ll be back with more next month!