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Wednesday 28 February 2018

Local secondary school students were able to gain valuable business skills at a community activity day earlier this month.

Part of Business in the Community’s Solent Inspires project, the day saw Solent University, Southern Co-operative, KPMG and more businesses get involved to encourage their employees to mentor the students.

Mike Head, representing Solent’s School of Business, Law and Communications, worked with Woodlands Community College on a voluntary basis, mentoring two groups of year 9 students over four weeks in preparation for a presentation at the activity day.

Part of a competition, students were tasked with presenting their research on getting a job to a panel of judges. The presentation had to include career opportunities available to the students, the skills employers are looking for and how the students could go about getting those skills.

Mike says: “Projects like this play a vital role in involving business and the local community by giving the students exposure to areas they may otherwise be unaware of.

“It was rewarding to see the girls grow over the duration of the project, overcoming their fears and taking them out of their comfort zones.”

Beating off competition from Oasis Academy Lord’s Hill and Cantell, the students from Woodlands Community College won for their innovative and creative approach, having left judges impressed by their strong delivery of relevant content to a large audience.

Professor Mike Wilkinson, Solent’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor (External Engagement) says: “The participants grew visibly in confidence as a result of the mentoring sessions. For the winning team, this included reviewing their practice sessions with the aid of Solent’s lecture capture facilities, which proved invaluable in refining their presentation technique.

“This and the panel presentation have grown the confidence of these young people and also given a great insight into how two professional organisations – a university and KPMG – function.”