Jobs Market “Edge” for Milton Keynes College

Fri 17 Aug 2012

Students at Milton Keynes College will be given a chance to edge ahead of the competition in the hunt for jobs, thanks to a new initiative from The REED NCFE Partnership.

“Helping our students compete successfully in the workplace is one of our most important jobs,” says Milton Keynes College principal and CEO Dr. Julie Mills, “and the relationship with REED NCFE is a fantastic opportunity to help our young people find work and provide top class recruits for local business.”

As part of the plan, a special “job shop” will be set up at the College offering the kinds of vacancies which are rarely publicly advertised.  Students will also receive tailored training in the skills they need specifically to win these “hidden” jobs. 

Dr. Mills says, “We will save local business time and effort by helping directly with their recruitment processes, fitting round pegs into round holes which will be good for them and a terrific head start in work for our students.”  

While the College already provides young people with the skills they need to be effective in their chosen careers, the scheme will help them to understand how the world of work operates.  They will be taught how to think and behave in the work environment.  In a recent survey of 1,264 employers conducted by REED, 97% put this mindset element ahead of skills as something they look for when recruiting.  In a further study of 30,000 CVs (comparing successful CVs against unsuccessful ones), REED found that demonstrating your mindset in action on your CV “tripled your chances of getting and keeping” the best job.
Students will study for the REED NCFE Level 1, 2 and 3 Awards in Job Search and Interview Skills and will also have the opportunity to benefit from a tailored programme of student and employer engagement, employment consultation, job brokerage, careers advice and work experience.

The partnership has signed a three year deal with the college, supporting students from a wide range of subject areas, into industry.

Nick Hughes, Senior Operations Manager for REED NCFE, said:  “We firmly believe that the REED NCFE initiative is the right solution to address the apparent disconnect between employers and colleges.

“Since the launch of the partnership in January at Bournemouth and Poole College, the service has had an average of 160 live vacancies each month, placing a huge number of students in employment at the end of their college courses. We hope and expect the same success for Milton Keynes.”

Last year the government commissioned Wolf Report criticised the quality of vocational education on offer to young people saying courses often did not help students find work.   Dr Mills says, “The Wolf Report sent clear messages that employment outcomes were set to become a big challenge for colleges. Ofsted’s recent report Skills in Employment also suggested the Further Education sector was failing to deliver results for unemployed people in the UK.  Hopefully, this new relationship will help to address those problems.  Young people want to learn, gain skills and enjoy college; but they also want to earn hard cash in a good job after they finish studying.  The result of this new partnership will make our students more employable and our College more responsive to the biggest challenge of our times.”

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