College life: How we connect with employers at Westminster Kingsway College

“It was good to hear that you can get into roles from different routes. I will look into apprenticeships now.”- Sanna, Health and Social Care student 

Employer engagement and us  

Westminster Kingsway College is one of the largest further education colleges in London, offering an extensive range of academic, vocational and Higher Education courses. Due to an unprecedented interruption in education coupled with the impact of COVID on the job market, young people need industry support more than ever. Here at Westking, we use Inspiring the Future to plan a range of activities, helping to widen students’ career aspirations, giving them knowledge of labour markets and showing them different pathways and opportunities available to them. 

Where Inspiring the Future comes in 

We find that the Inspiring the Future network enables us to connect to a diverse range of individuals from various backgrounds and industries. It helps us bring our ideas for educational engagement activities to life by connecting us with professionals and facilitating networking and new partnerships. This support is particularly appreciated now during the pandemic and we were delighted to have run one of our first in-person careers activities ‘Inspiring Black Young Leaders Panel’ and Networking Event in partnership with Inspiring the Future in October 2021. It’s fantastic to be able to host events on college premises again and it’s brilliant to see wonderful and inspiring speakers willing to commit their time and engage with our learners.   

“I was motivated by the speakers and what they did. You can always look for people to support you and help with questions”- Arifa, Engineering student 

Encounters we have run with Inspiring the Future 

  • Women in Tech Panel (in-person) 
  • Inspiring Women Leaders Event (virtual) 
  • Health Care Showcase Event (virtual) 
  • Entrepreneurship Workshop (virtual) 
  • Media Insights (in-person) 
  • Inspiring Black Young Leaders Panel (in-person) 
  • Engineering Networking (in-person) 
  • Health Care Networking (in-person) 

“Great network event. I was pushed to asked questions and be outside my comfort zone. I feel like I can do that again now”- Lucas, A Level student 

Top tips for using Inspiring the Future 

  • Have a clear objective or a theme in mind when organising your event (for example increasing female participation in STEAM) – it will make it easier to articulate what profile of volunteers you’re looking for. 
  • Set up the event at least one month in advance – this will give you time to research volunteers and send out invitations. 
  • Write a clear activity description including theme, objective, audience. Use as much detail as possible to provide background to your potential volunteers. 
  • Send detailed information to speakers including who will be attending (age/ profile of students), event date, time, location (is it virtual or in-person?), what content do you want speakers to cover, and what to expect in the Q&A (example questions). Don’t forget Covid-19 guidance to ensure everyone’s clear on what to expect and what rules to follow when on site. 
  • Brief your teachers and students – you want everyone to make the most of the event so sharing some details about speakers in advance will be helpful. 
  • Set up the event in everyone’s calendars including the address if the event is in-person. Send a reminder a week before and a day before.  

Many thanks to colleagues at Inspiring the Future and all the best to colleagues from other colleges and schools with your upcoming events and activities. 

 

Carlo Liu – Head of Careers Education and Partnerships

Dorota Drajewicz – Employability and Events Coordinator