The Employment 1st course at Central Bedfordshire College came to an end on Friday amid real fanfare – the nine students were represented with their certificates by Andrew Selous MP and Mandy France from People 1st. The ceremony was opened by Ali Hadawi OBE Principal of the College and the audience and speakers included representatives from Central Bedfordshire Council, Job Centre Plus and Experience Bedfordshire – who were representing the hospitality sector employers.
The ceremony was uplifting and it was great to see the women that I had met the previous week looking so confident and having worked so hard over a short period to achieve a significant qualification. They reported that they no longer felt “on the scrapheap” , had made friends and developed aspirations that only a few days ago did not seem at all likely.
The potential, though, was in those ladies meeting the employers who have committed to interviewing successful graduates and talking about the vacancies and opportunities… and those conversations were developing all over the room and it was great to see the prospects for meaningful employment opening up for all the students.
- The Council had initiated the project and paid for Inspiring Partnerships to develop the concept and undertake the research and brokerage
- The College had taken the risk in developing the course and offering the pilot and had brought a great tutor to the course who proved popular with all the students
- Job Centre Plus had made the referrals
- People 1st developed the course nationally with employers
- Experience Bedfordshire had brought access to the employers and supported the project to member employers as part of the commitment to develop the sector
- The employers themselves had taken a risk in trusting this partnership to deliver outcomes that could improve their recruitment systems
But in the next two weeks, it will be how those newly qualified students fill in forms, perform at interviews and access those opportunities. They have every chance and I hope that in 2 weeks time I will be reporting some amazing results via this blog!