Working with Employers April Edition 2021

Welcome to the NKC Working with Employers Newsletter

This newsletter is brought to you by the Employer Engagement team at the college who on behalf of the College reach out into the local communities. We aim to provide support, guidance and information regarding education and your industry whilst gaining insight into local employers and businesses. In the monthly newsletter we will be sharing how we are working with local employers and businesses, informing about government related strategies in relation to education, sharing stories about NKC students and employers working together and overall insight into the North Kent College group.

Lambs at our Hadlow College

Welcome to the April Edition of NKC Working with Employers. We hope you enjoyed the Easter break and did not indulge in too many chocolate eggs and hot cross buns. (Although we did!) Our students took a well deserved break over the Easter after getting back to college life, whilst at our Hadlow College as you can see above we had some new additions join us.

April Headlines

In this months edition we look at the exciting development taking place at our Dartford campus, more updates on apprenticeships funding, apprentice success and employers supporting the future workforce.

  • Development at NKC - Performing & Production Digital Arts Facility
  • Star Apprentice Sydney secures degree apprenticeship!
  • Construction Youth Trust supporting NKC students into employment
  • PLP Fire Protection & NKC - A year on
  • Apprenticeships & Reserving your funding update
  • Classic Accounting & Industry Placements
  • Newsflash - Apprentice Wage

New Development at NKC - Performing & Production Digital Arts Facility

At the beginning of the year, NKC announced the development of a Performing and Production Digital Arts Facility. The amazing development has begun already and with thanks to funding from the government's 'Getting building fund' awarded by the South East Local Enterprise Partnership.

David Gleed, Chief Executive and Executive Principal, North Kent College commented,

We are delighted to receive funding for this vital project which will further enhance the outstanding Arts offer that North Kent College provides. With the Arts as a key focus for both Kent and the Thames Gateway, this development ensures we remain at the forefront of education and training to produce the very best future Arts professionals. We are particularly grateful to both SELEP and Cllr Roger Gough and his KCC colleagues for their continued support and backing.

Willmott Dixon Construction Limited were awarded the contract for the build and have begun work on the exciting project. We were able to catch up with Ryan Driscoll, Trainee Build Manager. " Work on site is progressing well, with the frame now complete. The next phase of works will be completing the ground and first floor slabs, which is when you will begin to see the face of the building come together. The Project team are in good place and we are looking forward to the coming months here at North Kent College."

Along side their project they are working with our Employer Relationship Officer, Poppy Drury to discuss working with NKC students for Industry Placements, work experience and more opportunities. We look forward to exploring these options further with them and are grateful for their support of the students.

Star Apprentice Sydney secures degree apprenticeship!

Sydney Baker is currently completing her carpentry apprenticeship through her employer Castle Builders South East Ltd. Working with her assessor Stuart Hornby, Sydney has been an exemplary apprentice focussed on moving forward in her career in construction.

Stuart Hornby, Assessor described Sydney's journey and successes,

As her assessor on her current apprenticeship, I can tell you that she has done excellently, completing all tasks and assessments on time and to a high standard. As a woman working in a mainly 'man's world' of construction she has not looked out of place. It was at my last site meeting that she and her employer, Spencer Cooper of Castle Builders South East Ltd, discussed that Sydney would like to carry on in education and construction. We discussed roles such as site manager, quantity surveyor, contracts manager etc. I went back to college and discussed this with Karen Wyatt, Assistant Curriculum Manager Construction who has a contact at Axis Europe. Sydney was then put in touch with them. She was interviewed and offered an apprenticeship as a quantity surveyor to start in September 2021. I am so pleased for Sydney.

Apprenticeships on every level offer the student the chance to develop their knowledge, expand their skills and further their career within the industry. We were happy to catch up with Sydney when she was busy in the carpentry workshop.

" I was not sure what to do when I finished school but when the opportunity of the carpentry apprenticeship with Castle Builders became available I thought it would be an interesting next step. I have really enjoyed learning the skills it takes to work in construction and about the construction industry as a whole. The apprenticeship and support from the employer and assessor has given me the confidence to further my career and I have been fortunate enough to get a place on a degree apprenticeship for quantity surveying." - Sydney Baker, Carpentry Apprentice.

Sydney is a great example of the successes of apprenticeships and all at NKC wish her all the best.

Construction Youth Trust supporting NKC students into employment

We have been working closely with the Construction Youth Trust over the past academic year and feel extremely privileged to have their ongoing support. In November 2020, CYT begun a Health and Safety Level 1 course with our painting and decorating students, due to its success, this course was also offered to the Level 2 carpentry group too. Both cohorts, totalling 39 students have now completed the ‘Level 1 health and safety theory training’ and have started preparations for their CSCS exam.

Karen Wyatt, Assistant curriculum manager for construction commented,

Our learners have gained valuable knowledge to enable them to gain a level 1 award in H&S with the chance of sitting the CSCS test and progressing into employment with the resources required in many construction jobs. CYT have given their time and patience to assist groups of construction learners and we are grateful for this.
" In the current COVID-19 climate, it is more important than ever to ensure young people are fully equipped with the necessary skills and qualifications to make a successful transition from education to the working world. Our partnership with North Kent College enables us to work together to support local diverse young talent and ensure that the students have the best possible chance to achieve their career aspirations." (Construction Youth Trust)

In addition to the health and safety programme, the Construction Youth Trust have been hosting regular webinars and events, open to all trades sector students. They have been facilitating, quarterly live employer vacancies, which students can register and take part in; to gain insight about any upcoming roles within their local area.

"This level of engagement from the trust has been such an invaluable resource for our students and we are extremely thankful for all their expert guidance and knowledge. A special thanks to Donna Jones, Tommy Farrell, Holly Fanshawe, Becca Collins and Charlotte Higgins." - Poppy Drury Employer Relationship Officer.

We look forward to working with CYT in the future and hope to continue building a strong relationship with the team.

Employer Spotlight

PLP Fire Protection & NKC - A year on

The award winning PLP Fire, have been working in partnership with the college for over 3 years now, having taken on two of our electrical students. They initially interviewed Michael Barnett, employing him via our industry placement scheme whilst he completed College. Michael is now moving into his second year of work with the fire safety company, showing fantastic progress.

Director Paul Bennet stated,

"Since Michael first arrived through the industry placement scheme, he has shown an incredible effort to impress all staff at PLP Fire Protection. Within 3 weeks of starting work, Michael had shown a keen interest in the industry and worked well with the rest of the team. Now a year on, he is still such a valuable part of the team, with such passion for the fire industry. He is interested in developing his skills and is willing to take on new tasks and roles within the company. We have been very impressed with Michael's commitment to the company and attitude to learning."

Having found the scheme so successful, directors Rob Beeching and Paul Bennett then visited the college again in 2020 with interest in taking on a second student. Morgan Hepton was interviewed and offered a placement with PLP Fire. Alike Michael, Morgan showed great willingness to learn within the company and after finishing his placement was given the opportunity to join the team on a full time permanent basis; which of course Morgan jumped at!

Morgan Hepton NKC Alumni – ‘’I’ve been working for PLP Fire for just over a year now. In that time I have faced new challenges and overcome various barriers, that you experience in a working environment. I have been given the opportunity to attend a range of courses which have helped to expand my skill set and increase my confidence in the working world’’.

Since completing college and joining the PLP Fire team full time, Morgan and Michael are regularly encouraged to expand their knowledge and practical skills, having both recently completed courses in fire alarms. We cannot thank the team at PLP Fire enough, for choosing to work with NKC and continuing to offer our students such fantastic opportunities. We look forward to start recruiting for a third industry placement student to join your excellent team.

Michael Barnett

PLP Fire Protection & Electrical Services 01322 897997

Multi Award Winning UKAS, BAFE SP203, SSAIB, IFC SDI 19 & NICEIC Accredited Fire Safety & Electrical Services Company.

Apprenticeships & Reserving your funding update

All apprentice employers are required to reserve your funding via your digital apprenticeship service account. From April 1st you can now reserve your apprenticeship funding 6 months in advance of the expected apprentice start date. Reservations must be made in advance of adding the apprentice’s details to the apprentice service account. It would be ideal and is advised to reserve your funding before recruiting an apprentice.

You can find out how to reserve your funding in the video below.

Classic Accounting Services Ltd & Industry Placements

Classic Accountancy Services (UK) Limited, provide accounting and advisory services centred around people and their business dealings. Azariah Quansah, Accounts Manager and business owner of Classic Accountancy Services Limited has been working with the college since 2019 providing industry placements for our accountancy students. Since 2019, Azariah and his team have supported 4 students, 2 students each academic year. This year Azariah has seen great potential in one of our level 3 AAT students and has offered her to work on a part time basis.

Through hardships during the pandemic, Azariah has continued to support our students with their industry placements. We have continuously built upon our partnerships, building a future for our accountancy students. Building a strong partnership with between North Kent College and Classic Accountancy has meant that Azariah and his team are able to trust our support and students each year.

Azariah Quansah, Account Manager said,

"It has been great working with North Kent College via Ramneek Hundal, Employer relationship officer, right from the supply of students for the industry placement, tailored training manual and through to completion of paperwork. The company has been exposed well within the community, and business circles. The scheme has been coordinated nicely because there has been free flow of information between Classic Accountancy, and Ramneek. Students have been readily available for the apprenticeship. Overall, it has been a good job done. By having the students in on a part time basis it has increased the speed of the firm with meeting their deadlines as it means that more jobs are able to be completed within a short period of time, at a high quality. By having the students in the office, it has meant that the firm has been able to take on additional clients."

Educating employers on the placement scheme is our goal, allowing them to see the potential that our students have. It has been great to see so many employers willing to upskill the local students and seeing the positives in taking on a student. Not only can a student bring fresh, up to date skills to the business, they are able to support you with your business needs and expand and expose you more within the community.

If you can offer an Industry Placement opportunity to a student or would like more information please get in touch. Business@northkent.ac.uk


To all our apprentice employers or those looking to recruit apprentices in the future, from April 1st the national minimum wage increased by 3.6% from £4.15 per hour to £4.30 per hour. You can find more information and guidance on wages by clicking the button below.

Contact Us

If you are interested in working with the college please get in contact. We can assist with any enquiry from commercial courses, apprenticeships, placements and much more.

Email: Business@northkent.ac.uk or call: 01322 629758

If you no longer wish to receive our newsletter please notify us by emailing Business@northkent.ac.uk

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