Joint managing partner Tim Clark, in Blandy & Blandy LLP's Employment law team, recently participated in a Thames Valley Business Magazine round table event hosted by accountancy firm Vale & West and St Joseph’s College, to mark their joint 125th anniversaries this year.
The discussion focused on whether schools are producing students with the skills and abilities required by employers and is detailed more fully in this Thames Valley Business Magazine article.
Also joining the debate were representatives from the Education Business Partnership and Thames Valley Berkshire LEP, with Nouveau Solutions and Marks Sattin on the employers’ side.
The group was reminded, by Chair John Burbedge, that he Thames Valley boasts one of Europe’s most dynamic and vibrant workforces, who added that “the region’s employers and educators face challenges in making sure a pipeline of work-ready talent keeps flowing.”
Allison Giles from Thames Valley Berkshire LEP highlighted an ongoing gap between what businesses are looking for and what educators deliver.
Michelle Smith from the Education Business Partnership, which helps businesses to engage with schools through volunteering opportunities and work experience placements, discussed the importance of having dedicated careers leads in schools and in aiming for best practice and consistency within the system.
Anthony Leggett, bursar at St Joseph’s College, a client of Blandy & Blandy’s, reiterated the importance of focusing on core skills and not only core subjects: “We’re trying to develop the four Cs in all our students: communication, commitment, collaboration and confidence. They’re capabilities we think employers look for.”
Headmaster Andrew Colpus added that: “Young Enterprise helps students learn a range of skills and is a very good eye on the business world.”
Blandy & Blandy LLP continues to support Young Enterprise events in Reading annually, hosting the pitch stage of the competition at its 1 Friar Street offices, as well as marking business plans and judging at the finals in spring.
Tim Clark voiced that: “It is the practical experiences students have that can make a real difference with prospective employers, while academic work sets the bar.”
He also emphasised the importance of taking steps to engage employees and to secure their loyalty: “Employees have to think carefully about bouncing around between too many employers, as that may not help their careers in the long run.”
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