New MK College employment scheme launched

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Milton Keynes College has linked up with a national employment service to help students find work when they finish their studies, writes Liam Andrews.

Unemployment in MK rose to 3.6 per cent last month – one per cent higher than the overall South East rate, according to figures from MKi Observatory.

But MK College hopes the new partnership with Reed NCFE will improve the chances of young people getting into work – instead of them claiming job seeker’s allowance.

In front of a crowd of business people, MK College principal Dr Julie Mills and Director of Reed, Tom Millar, gave a speech announcing the partnership before chairman of the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Project, Dr Ann Limb, cut the ribbon.

Dr Mills said: “Employers nationally are 75 per cent at least satisfied with college leavers, with just 60 per cent satisfaction levels for school leavers.

“So we know that colleges prepare young people better for employment and taking their careers forward.

“Working with Reed NCFE is one of the really important things that we do to help us accelerate from that 75 per cent to 100 per cent.

“We are able to offer our students two really critical services. One is to support them with the skills of actually landing that job, the attitudinal and behavioural skills.

“And the second part is the Reed’s brokerage so the Reed NCFE staff will work with our students to explore their skills and source the job that is going to be right for them.

“We know we’ve been successful when we here from our alumni about their fantastic careers and their fantastic lives that wouldn’t have happened if they hadn’t come here and engaged with the college.”

Reed began working with the college in January and has its own office in the Chaffron Way campus, where students can drop in and speak to their staff about getting help.

Mr Millar added: “Our objective with MK College students as well as many others across the country is to help and bridge the gap between learning and work.

“We want to work with this college because they recognise that education is part of a journey into work and by working with the college we can make this journey complete.

“We are not asking employers to do any favours, but instead we find out what they are looking for and match them with students. We really look forward to working with employers and students.”

Supporting the partnership was Milton Keynes South MP, Iain Stewart, who said it would greatly benefit student.

“Any project that helps gives students the skills they need to suit themselves to employers is a really good innitiative,” he said.

“The competition for jobs is very intense and getting your CV right, interview skills and finding out jobs that aren’t well advertised are really important in getting your first job.”