‘The Agency’ officially launched

Shrewsbury College officially launched ‘The Agency’, an all-encompassing support centre to help students progress and/or gain employment.

The Agency is designed to support student progression onto higher education or employment by helping students develop their personal skills and qualities through enrichment activities and offers careers advice, work experience opportunities and employer projects. It also works as a talent pool for employers to hire graduates and Apprentices, or fill temporary or casual positions.

Members of the local business community, College Governors and staff attended the ribbon cutting ceremon, where speeches were given by, Dave Courteen, Director of The Mosaic Group which operates The Shrewsbury Club and London Road Sports Centre, Steve Wain, Shrewsbury College Principal and Karen Hayward, The Agency Manager.

Miss Hayward said during the official launch: “Here at The Agency we are busy developing opportunities for more than 600 local employers to tap into a pool of over 9,000 full and part-time students who are studying a range of vocational and academic courses.

“We are excited now that The Agency has moved into its new premises in the Enterprise Centre at London Road and we’ve already had an overwhelming response from local businesses who feel the exciting scheme can benefit their workplace as well as the students’ career prospects.”

Although The Agency saw its official launch this week, members of the team have been working since September (2014) to help students gain the skills they need to progress under The Agency umbrella, arranging work placements for students either as part of their curriculum or for experience for their CVs - around 900 work experience placements are being organised by The Agency this academic year alone.

The College also became the first further education college in the West Midlands to become a member of the National Association of Student Employment Services (NASES) with its new job ‘one-stop shop’.

Miss Hayward added: “We were thrilled to be part of NASES.  It means we are now part of a national network of ‘job shops’ for students.

“We are building an ethos of achievement at the College and encouraging students to stretch and challenge themselves. Future plans include the Employability Passport scheme which will allow students to demonstrate their skills to employers through academic achievement, character development, work experience, volunteering, enrichment and enterprise activities.”

Addressing the business people at the event, Dave Courteen said: “One for the first things I did at the Shrewsbury Club was a staff questionnaire and out of the 57 staff we have working for us, 32 of them have done some sort of training or course at Shrewsbury College. These students are helping us write the story of our business and they could help yours.”

Businesses who would like to shape the development of the Employability Passport, or would like to find a person to fulfil a role or undertake a joint project with the College should contact Karen Hayward on 01743 342644 or email karenh@shrewsbury.ac.uk

For more information about The Agency or courses at Shrewsbury College please click here

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