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.