Working with Employers March 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.

As we move into spring it seems (fingers crossed) that businesses, education and personal life is heading in a positive direction. I am sure like all at North Kent College you were glad to hear the potential dates for normality to be restored. From the 8th March our students have begun a phased and safe return to college to complete theirstudies and qualifications in the familiar surroundings the college facilities have to offer.

In this edition we have touched on a number of areas in the college looking at employer mentoring during lockdown to the exciting new incentives around apprenticeships that Rishi Sunak introduced in the latest budget. We hope you enjoy reading our Newsletter.

March Headlines:

  • North Kent College expands
  • National Apprenticeship Week Follow Up
  • BCLP supports NKC Legal Secretarial students
  • Rishi Sunak's Apprenticeship additional incentives
  • Thames Water virtually presents to North Kent College studentsEmployer Spotlight - Local Entrepreneur on working with North Kent College

North Kent College Grows

On the 15th August 2020, the Governing Body of North Kent College formally agreed the transfer of Hadlow College, including Princess Christian Farm and the equestrian centre in Greenwich, and the Tonbridge campus of West Kent and Ashford College. The union will strengthen the breadth of our curriculum offer and our training provision across Kent and equip students with the skills and knowledge to prepare them for successful careers and further studies.

David Gleed, Chief Executive and Executive Principal said “We will continue to serve all local communities and build working relationships across the County, striving to ensure a strong and consistently reliable offer. We are looking forward to the future, the evolution of our extended portfolio and developing our robust and diverse offer.”

This is an exciting time at the Colleges as we get to know our new colleagues and work towards building our wider College offer that serves our local communities. We look forward to sharing with you more information about the Colleges, their offers and the exceptional work they do with employers over the coming months.

National Apprenticeship Week 2021

National Apprenticeship Week 2021 was the chance to celebrate apprenticeships, apprentices and their employers during what has been a difficult year for all. Throughout the week we shared some of our student and employer experiences through a series of video interviews and completed the week with our employer webinar and apprenticeship team.

This was an opportunity to learn about the apprenticeships we cover at North Kent College, West Kent College and Hadlow College with apprentice employers and apprentices sharing their experiences. If you were not able to attend the webinar you can find the video of the on the North Kent College YouTube page.


North Kent College Apprenticeships

Hadlow College Apprenticeships

West Kent College Apprenticeships

BLCP Supports our Legal Secretarial Students

BCLP - Bryan, Cave, Leighton & Paisner have provided long term mentoring to our legal secretarial students at North Kent College including offering an industry placement to one of our students Megan during the last academic year. Due to Covid 19 further placements for this year were halted.

However, our legal secretarial level 3 students were fortunate enough to attend a virtual presentation with BCLP's Legal PA Manager's Sophia Joseph and Debbie Willett. The virtual presentation allowed our learners to have an insight of the working legal world and understand what most legal employers look for when recruiting.

Sophia and Debbie kindly offered 10 of our students a 'mock interview'. We allowed our students to apply for the mock interview by reviewing a job description and sending an application of interest and CV. It gave our students a great understanding of the employability world and how job applications work. Those who attended the mock interview received constructive feedback ready to use when applying for future vacancies.

Debbie Willett, BCLP Legal PA Manager says:

Sophia Joseph and I were delighted to be able to deliver a presentation to the NKC students last month. It was a little different this year but it was great to meet the students virtually, answer some excellent questions and also to conduct some very successful mock interviews. During more normal times BCLP work with NKC to offer industry placements, where the students work alongside the PAs and legal admin assistants in our office for one day each week during term time. It is an excellent way for the students to experience what life in a law firm is really like and also a great way for us to think about our pipeline for recruitment of legal admin assistants.

Ramneek Hundal, Employer Relationship Officer at North Kent College says:

The virtual presentation and mock interviews were a huge success. A massive thank you to Debbie and Sophia for their time given to our students and for their continued support. We are grateful to BCLP and look forward to working with them in the future.

Rishi Sunak's Apprenticeship additional incentives

In the latest budget Rishi Sunak introduced some good news in relation to apprenticeship incentives for employers. For those who are new to apprenticeships these incentive payments can be the cash injection needed to help support paying the apprentices wages, buying equipment, tools and/or paying for uniform and PPE. The incentives are there to support you as the employer and are paid in two installments one after 90 days, the second after 365 days.

During the first lockdown the government introduced additional incentives starting from September 2020 which where due to end January 2021; these were then extended to March 2021 when further lockdowns were announced. The incentive was a cash payment to employers of £2,000 for each apprentice they hire aged 16-24, and £1,500 for those over the age of 25. Employers had to apply for the incentives for each apprentice via their digital account and the incentives were only available for new employees. Please note if you took on an apprentice during this time you can apply up until 31st April 2021.

Moving forward from April 1st 2021 employers can apply for a more generous incentive which has been simplified to be a flat £3000 payment per hire regardless of the apprentice's age for employers who recruit from April 1st. This scheme will end September 2021. Employers will need to apply through their apprenticeships digital account. If you need to open an account for managing apprenticeships you can do that here. Create an account and it will advise you through the process and the information required to complete the account. This account set up will also allow you to reserve the funds for the apprentice in advance as required.

For those who would like further guidance on April 14th 12pm there is a webinar on 'How to use the apprenticeship service.' You can book via this link Apprenticeship Service | GoToStage.com

Apprenticeships provide opportunities for individuals to start their career with support and training. By taking on an apprentice employers are investing in an individual who can grow and develop in the businesses. Further information can be found at Hire an apprentice apprenticeships.gov.uk or please feel free to get in touch with the colleges as we would be happy to help answer any questions.

Thames Water virtually presents to NKC students

During the college closures Tracy and team at Thames Water kindly put together a presentation for our plumbing students. The presentation covered a whole range of topics surrounding plumbing, sewerage, waste, water supplies, sustainability and careers. We learnt some fascinating facts, such as Thames water treat over 4,400 million litres of sewage every day! Another being, that they have enough pipe network (85,000 miles) to wrap around the world three and a half times!

Tracy Sacks, Education Manager at Thames Water says:

We were delighted to support the work of North Kent College in engaging their learners with a virtual presentation about what Thames Water do and how they do it. Working through an online session isn’t quite the same as a face to face engagement, but it has been a great way to ensure we have been able to continue to work closely with our education partners during lockdown.

Although the presentation was ‘virtual’ this didn’t stop Tracy from making the session as engaging as possible. There were some interactive slides such as estimating our individual water usage which revealed to be much higher than we all suspected. Also included was a magnified image of a wet wipe which students had attempted to guess, before finding out how damaging they are to our sewers. Throughout the presentation the overall water process treatment was discussed from start to finish, proving to be particularly insightful for our students.

Poppy Drury, Employer Relationship Officer commented:

We would like to thank Tracy and everyone at Thames Water for not only looking after our water and sewer supplies, but for their amazing support to our students during lockdown. The presentation gave such valuable insight, we just hope in the coming months we will be able to work together in a face to face capacity.

Employer Spotlight

Local Entrepreneur on working with North Kent College

Lewis Deakin, a local entrepreneur and business owner of The Body Kitchen and WeManage Business has been working with the college for past year providing apprenticeship and industry placement opportunities. Lewis first began to work with the college when offering an apprenticeship opportunity to a local young person Maisie at The Body Kitchen. The Body Kitchen is one of the UK’s leading meal preparation companies supporting athletes, celebrities.and health enthusiasts with healthy balanced meals. During the pandemic Lewis worked with Dame Kelly Holmes to fundraise and provide over a thousand meals to local NHS staff.

Lewis Deakin, Owner of The Body Kitchen and wemanagebusiness.com

Lewis recognised Maisie as a potential apprentice and reached out to the college to discuss options which would provide Maisie with employment and the opportunity to obtain a qualification. Shortly after she was enrolled onto our Business Administration apprenticeship in September 2020. As the business owner, Lewis was able to apply for the additional incentives through his digital account. These incentives are there to support Lewis in developing Maisie within his business.

Lewis Deakin, Business owner said:

Apprenticeships offer a great opportunity to expand and develop your team. The college advised me of apprenticeships as a whole and helped me select the best option for the business. The apprenticeship has helped Maisie develop and she is doing a great job.

Lewis and his business partner Vijay continued to work with the college when a few months later they offered North Kent College computing and creative media students industry placements at their newly launched company, We Manage Business. We Manage Business works with businesses to provide consultancy services regarding branding and design, website design and management, social media, virtual PA and much more. Throughout they supported the industry placement process, providing the successful placement candidates with support and mentoring.

The placements continued with slight interruptions from Covid 19 with some work being completed remotely developing the students experience and understanding of the industry.

Lewis Deakin, Business owner said:

We wanted to support new emerging talent when we began the new business and felt that industry placements offered that opportunity. We have really enjoyed working with the students and it has been great to see the work they can produce. The students and the business are fully supported by the college which makes the process smooth and easy to do. When we can we are looking to invite more North Kent College students to gain experience with us.


T:0330 174 4236




0330 174 4235



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

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