Highbury’s travel, hospitality and tourism students along with the catering students organised the dinner for the College’s Expert Advisory Board (EAB) members, showcasing the new professional catering facilities.
During the evening, College leaders and employers shared emerging industry trends and discussed how the College’s curriculum can continue to train the nation’s future workforce within the public services; construction; digital media; IT; automotive; hospitality & catering; hairdressing & beauty therapy; and engineering sectors.
Local business director and Horndean Councillor Guy Shepherd said: “I think the link between employers and colleges is vital. We can help to identify skills gaps and look at what courses might benefit from some industry input. In construction, new technology and products are being developed all the time and it’s important that students are trained to use the latest equipment. Having that overlap between industry and college means young people are better prepared for future employment.
“I’ve been really lucky to be on one of the EABs now for about five years. What would be great is to have more people from my sector coming along and taking part, and then seeing if they can work in a partnership with the College to develop some new courses or training.”
Maggie Watkins from Richmond Cars Ltd. added: “I think it’s really important that employers and colleges work closely together. It’s been very nice to meet with the different sectors that we work with and to network with professionals from other industries.”
The event also allowed the College’s new Director of Commercial Craig Mincher to introduce a new innovative approach to working with local employers.
Mr Mincher said: “It was fantastic to welcome so many local, regional and national employers who are all very excited to work with us. Our EABs are essential and help us to identify key employer priorities within a variety of specialised fields, developing essential business relationships that have the potential for future collaborative work.”