Our News

6 June 2013

Cardiff and Vale College students are ambassadors for employability

Cardiff and Vale College students have travelled to an influential conference in London where they discussed barriers to employment facing young people with policymakers and ministers.

Sports students Jamie Hallett, Gareth Holland and Shelby Murray contributed to the conference examining what young people saw as obstacles to work and what they believed could accelerate their future careers. Held at the QEII Centre in Westminster, it brought together stakeholders, professionals, policymakers and ministers across the education, employability and skills sectors.

CAVC Enrichment Officer Claire Oatridge said: We attended three thought-provoking breakout session during the day that looked at successful employer interaction with colleges, the impact of work experience, internships and volunteering in a young person’s pathway to work and how we are using enterprise and entrepreneurship to encourage young people to create jobs.”

Employers and young people were invited specifically to contribute their experience to the debate. “Our learners benefited greatly from the opportunity to network and take part in discussions and be a part of the forward planning that is critical to the employment, skills and life chances of our young people,” Claire added.

Gareth, 22 and from Cardiff, said: I really enjoyed my time in London at the employability convention and learnt lots about getting ahead in employment.

I gained advice which will help me in the future and I enjoyed talking to all different sorts of people, especially taking part in debates!”

Jamie, 19 and also from Cardiff, added: “I had an enjoyable time at the employability convention and learnt lots about getting ahead in employment. We enjoyed talking to all different sorts of people and taking part in debates.

“I have found out which route to take and what exams to do which will help me set up my own business and go self-employed. It was a good opportunity for me as a young individual and would highly recommend all young people to attend conventions such as this one.”

The conference also examined the concept of the learning company. The brainchild of the Gazelle Group of entrepreneurial colleges, the learning company is a fully-fledged commercial enterprise that students run themselves 52 weeks a year, with remuneration, that will help them develop a mindset for business.

As the sole Welsh college in the Gazelle Group, CAVC is currently in the process of identifying and implementing its own learning company, which is expected to be the first of many. It is also examining how best to transform its current commercial activities into a more entrepreneurial job experience for its students.

Photo: (l-r) Gareth Holland, Shelby Murray and Jamie Hallett