Approximately 170 pupils, parents and teachers from Forest, Millais and Tanbridge House schools attended Collyer’s ‘Not Going to Uni’ (NG2U) Year 10 and 11 Evening.
Facilitated by Collyer’s deputy principal Steve Martell, the packed audience posed questions to a panel of experts from industry, during a lively event in Collyer’s Duckering Hall.
The session was planned by employability programme co-ordinator, Lucy Hargreaves, with help from Hannah Roberts.
Collyer’s students Nishat Zaman and Tom Williams, who study employability alongside their academic subjects, also assisted with the management of the event on the night, to gain valuable experience in this field of work.
Experts on the panel quizzed by a packed Duckering Hall audience were: former Collyer’s student and now Assurity Consulting’s Callum Byrne; Grant Thornton’s Ali Hainsworth, who also studied at Collyer’s; Nestle’s Haleema Baker-Mir; Hazel Holland (AON Hewitt); ex-Collyer’s students James Seddon-Smith (Red River/Chichester University) and Chris Tod (South Lodge Hotel); Gatwick Airport’s Hannah Wickman, Michael Crane (Thales); Ben Powell (National Citizen Service); Jamie Hickman (Horsham District Council) and Professor Dave Cooper from Chichester University.
Each answered questions on areas including A-level and BTEC courses at Collyer’s, apprenticeships, alternative routes, sponsored exams, degree apprenticeships, sponsored degrees and ‘employability’ skills.
Steve Martell, who teaches the ground-breaking employability course at the college, was delighted: “Massive thanks to our knowledgeable and inspiring speakers, and to Lucy Hargreaves and Hannah Roberts for event planning the session so brilliantly.
“Big thanks also go to students Nishat and Tom. They are amazing and were a credit to our employability group. Lucy, Hannah and I are very proud of them both!”
After the Q&A session, guests were invited to speak to the host of organisations who ran stands in the Memorial Hall fair, these comprised: AON Hewitt, Assurity Consulting, University of Chichester, Gatwick Airport; Grant Thornton, Horsham District Council, National Citizen Service, Nestle, University of Portsmouth; RSM, Sigta Training, South Lodge Hotel, Thales and Virgin Holidays.
Employability student Nishat Zaman said: “It was great work experience for Tom and I to help with the smooth running of the event on the night and I think it’s really good that Collyer’s supports Forest, Millais and Tanbridge House schools by running this type of evening for their pupils.
“Collyer’s cares about the next year groups coming through.”
Chris Tod, from South Lodge Hotel, spoke about the interesting and varied career paths available at the luxury hotel. He told pupils and parents: “I’m impressed that the college is running this event tonight to help to pupils at local schools plan for their futures.”
Lucy Hargreaves said: “We can’t wait for the NG2U event aimed at our very own Collyer’s students on February 7.”