New partnership with Lloyds Banking Group strengthens students’ employability skills.
Calderdale College looked to provide students with core employability skills sought by local employers and to demonstrate the importance of work experience, in order to raise aspirations and boost motivation and progress.
The College had also identified potential future employees for Lloyds Banking Group and aimed to support these individuals into a role within the organisation.
Jane Prince, Assistant Curriculum Manager at Calderdale College, said: “We found that while our students are on track to gain invaluable qualifications, they also need to have the necessary interpersonal skills to flourish in interviews and assessment centres. Therefore, we wanted to find ways in which we could support these candidates to strengthen their personal skills and give them the necessary qualities they need to excel.”
Working in partnership with Lloyds Banking Group, Calderdale College developed Core21, a bespoke training program which includes a range of activities and work experience opportunities to support students into careers. The programme was piloted with the College’s Business students before being rolled out wider across the College later this year.
As part of the pilot, students attended masterclasses where they received coaching in areas such as resilience, personal branding, marketing and commercial awareness.
To give students first-hand experience of a competitive mock assessment centre day, Lloyds Banking Group hosted one specifically for students to take part in. They were involved in group activities, delivered presentations and attended interviews, and each individual received feedback to help them perfect their skills and develop into candidates.
Students were offered work placement opportunities at a variety of business units within the company where they experienced stockbroking, packaged banking accounts, digital and insurance.
To enhance their team building skills, they attended a team building day at Ogden Water Country Park and attended a graduation ceremony where certificates and awards were given to those taking part.
All candidates received a Level 2 City and Guilds Employability Skills qualification for taking part in the Core21 programme, as well as useful experience that will help them take their first step into a career.
Robin Smith, Curriculum Manager for Creative and Digital Arts, said of the programme: “One of the main reasons why the pilot of this programme has been so successful is that we have had the opportunity to work with Lloyds Banking Group who have experience of employing thousands of candidates in Calderdale every year.
“Their experience of meeting and assessing applicants has made the interviews and assessment days feel like a very real process for our students, giving them invaluable experience that will put them in an advantageous position for the future.”
Mark Lawton, ID&I Rectification Delivery Manager at Lloyds Banking Group, said of one student, Kanaya Walker:“Kanaya really impressed me and a number of my colleagues with her attitude, confidence and delivery. She performed to an excellent standard across all three aspects of the day, particularly in her interview and presentation. I was so impressed with her performance that I would have no hesitation in hiring her into an entry level position within Lloyds Banking Group.”
Moheeb Farook, a student on the Core21 training programme, commented: “Through Core21, I have learned a lot about what I want to do in the future, the options I have and how to progress in them. I found the interview most useful, as it identified my strengths and areas for improvement.”
Following the initial pilot phase of Core21, the next programme will run in October 2018 with Level 3 Business students studying in their first and second years.