Find out more about a network committed to supporting local businesses

Harrogate College Employers’ Network is inviting businesses across the district to get involved – and reap the benefits.

Set up to allow employers to have a direct influence on the courses and training the college provides, the network (HCEN) will hold its annual meeting on Thursday 20 October.

Open to prospective as well as existing members, the 10am to noon event will be a chance to hear about the progress HCEN has made over the past year, plus the rewards it offers.

Attending businesses will also be able to tell Principal Danny Wild about what they would like to see from Harrogate College, its curriculum and the network going forward.

Danny said: “This will be a great opportunity for employers to find out how we can work with them to fulfil their training and recruitment needs.

“It will also be a great chance to give us feedback, influence the education that is being delivered in the district, and shape our future workforce.

“Our Student Employment Programme, which we have just introduced, is a great example of how feedback from the network has led to positive change. This flexible work arrangement allows employers to hire students with the skills they need directly from the college, on a part time basis that fits around their studies.

“We will be targeting this at some of Harrogate’s core industries, including hospitality and health and social care.

“We hope representatives from as many local businesses as possible can get along to the annual meeting of Harrogate College Employers’ Network meeting to discuss how we can help one another while strengthening, and future-proofing, our economy.”

Click here for more details or to book a place at the annual meeting.

Local employers, meanwhile, can also look forward to coming into college on Wednesday 2 November for the Harrogate College Recruitment Fair.

This event, organised through the Student Employment Programme, runs from 10am to 2pm and will give businesses a chance to interview students who have had customer service training directly about work opportunities.

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.