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Bishop Burton College welcomes employers to celebration awards event

10 Mar 2023 | Business and Employers

Bishop Burton College was delighted to host their first ever Employer Awards to recognise the support, dedication and opportunities the college’s industry partners provide for their students.

Working with over 500 employers across the region the college has fantastic links across numerous industries including health and social care, agriculture, education and childcare, equine and animal sciences. These relationships are vital to the college to deliver mentoring, industry work experience, apprenticeships and placements as part of the new T Level qualifications.

The Employer Awards were conceived by the college as an opportunity to celebrate and thank the hundreds of employers they work with, allow them to meet and network with one another to share the positive impact working with students has for their business and inform the college on how the curriculum can be fit for the future.

Taking place during National Careers Week the evening kick-started with a warm welcome from Principal and Chief Executive Bill Meredith.

Bill said “I am delighted to see so many of our fantastic employers here today, taking time out from busy schedules, alongside some of the students they have supported in their journey into becoming valuable members of the workforce of the future.

“We are here to say a huge thank you but also to talk about your crucial contribution – to our students’ development, into our curriculum design and into the regional economy as a whole and to discuss how we can all make the biggest impact on sustainable futures for the sectors we serve.”

This was followed by a panel discussion led by Deputy Principal and Deputy Chief Executive Kirsti Lord. The panel comprised of Beth Skinner from Busy Bees Nursery, who talked about the nursery’s experience of having T Level placement students, Melanie Watson from Instinctive Horse Training, who has been working with the college since 1985, gave her perspective on apprenticeships and Paul Woodward from Bridlington Animal Park provided insight into working with work placement students.

All three employers wholeheartedly agreed that engaging with young people and bringing them into their businesses was hugely beneficial and were full of praise for the positive relationship they had with the college.

Melanie said “Investing in young people is everything. If you have something to give back then you can change a young life. Each of the apprentices I have taken on has stayed in my employment for another four or five years before progressing to the next stage of their career. I’ve also found the apprentices I work with also end up becoming mentors – supporting and teaching work placement students.”

Paul from Bridlington Animal Park commented “I can recruit straight from the students I take on placements – I have people in place from Head Keeper all the way through the organisation who started as students on work experience and went on to join our team after their studies.”

The employers were also joined by T Level Education and Childcare students, Milly Hatfield currently in her second year of the course and first year Tegan Cane. The students also enjoyed incredibly positive experiences on placement.

Milly commented “I wouldn’t have been confident enough to take part in the panel if it weren’t for my placement experience. After being able to work with children with SEN behavioral needs it’s definitely established what I want to do. The school I’m at for my placement has already approached me about joining the team permanently when I finish my course.”

The panel session was followed by round table discussions where the employers were invited to share their thoughts on employment opportunities, how the curriculum could support this and experiences of working with students.

Finally, the evening concluded with the highlight of the event – the Employer Awards. The nominees and winners were as follows:

Apprentice Employer of the year:

Nominees were Bleach Yard Stables, North Yorkshire Landscaping and Laveracks.
The award was won by Laveracks.

Employer Mentor of the year:

The nominees for this category were Busy Bees Nursery Beverley, Manor Fresh Ltd, Bleach Yard Stables and Sewerby Hall.
The award was won by Busy Bees Nursery.

Placement Employer of the year:

Nominees were Everything but the Dog, Bridlington Animal Park, Sewerby Hall and Humber Trust. The award was won by Bridlington Animal Park.

Most Supportive Employer of the year:

The nominees were Stud Farm, Peejay Pet Superstore, East Yorkshire Motor Services and NHS – Young Health Champions Volunteer Programme.
The award was won by East Yorkshire Motor Services.

Student Recommended Employer of the year:

Nominees for this final category were Wicstun Veterinary Group, The Conservation Volunteers and Nunny’s Farm.
The winner was Wicstun Veterinary Group.

Given the success of the event, the college intends to add it to the calendar on an annual basis. Principal and Chief Executive Bill Meredith said “This event was a fantastic way to say thank you to the 500 plus employers we work with every year, all of whom are key to our students’ success. Their contribution is crucial and it has been wonderful to be able to hear about so many positive experiences. As a college we are dedicated to ensuring our students are ready for the world of work and highly employable. Engagement and exposure to industry professionals is an essential element of this so it was a pleasure to be able to demonstrate how grateful we are to the many industry professionals who support the next generation.”

Discover more about supporting the college with industry and T Level placements or apprenticeships HERE

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