Students Shortlisted as Finalists in National Employability Competition

Vanessa Toader

Three teams of students from Walsall College will be heading to London to compete for the chance to be crowned the winner of the national Champion of Champions employability competition.

The teams are three of eight that have been shortlisted from across the UK to compete in the competition final which will take place in London on Friday 24 June 2016.

The competition, run by the National Skills Academy for Financial Services, challenged teams of up to five FE UK college students, aged 16-25, to plan and run an employability-focused event at their college to help their peers develop their employability skills, whilst developing their own in the process.

As part of the competition, students at the college organised three projects which took place this week, including a ‘Bag a Job’ scheme, in which information packs filled with tips on how to find work, plan for an interview and work experience, were put together and handed out to fellow students.

In addition, Carpentry student, Heather Teevan, organised a team building exercise which involved teams made up of Construction and Electrical students competing to build a structure that could withstand a brick, whilst developing their communication skills, vital in any workplace.

Whilst Skills for Working life students collected donations of clothes and accessories to help showcase to students how they could ‘Dress for Success’ and make a good impression when attending job interviews.

Gail Houghton, at Walsall College, said: “The news of our shortlisting is fantastic! We strive to provide the best learning experiences to enhance our students’ skills. This competition was a great opportunity for our students to develop their employability skills with a practical challenge.

“We’re proud that three teams will have the chance to showcase their event at the competition final.”

During their trip to the capital, teams will have the opportunity to showcase the employability event which they developed and ran to help their fellow students develop their employability skills. The panel of judges, who will select the winning team, includes Peter Pledger, Chief Executive Officer of The National Skills Academy for Financial Services.

Peter Pledger said: “It was great to receive so many promising entries. I was impressed with the hard work and creativity that went into the employability events that students came up with.

“The competition has not only encouraged students to put their employability skills into practice but also helped them think about how best to assist other students to get ready for the world of work.”

Building on the 2015 Prepare for Work employability programme run by the National Skills Academy for Financial Services, the Champion of Champions was developed to help further education college students in the UK to develop their employability skills and improve their chances of securing and maintaining employment.


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