The Business Community Gives Derby College Group Full Support at Showcase Event

The Business Community Gives Derby College Group Full Support at Showcase Event

On June 20th, over 70 business owners and leaders attended an informative and lively business event at Derby College Group (DCG) at the Roundhouse College.

A key theme for the morning was around how employers have helped transform the lives of so many of the students, by giving support and opportunities.Andrew Cochrane, Chair of Governors for DCG, welcomed everyone and opened the event.

The event was coordinated and supported by Marketing Derby and was expertly led by Carol Dixon, Director of Employer Partnerships for DCG. Carol detailed that DCG supports 15,000 students each year and works in partnership with 2000 employers. She also emphasised DCG’s mission of being ‘committed to create world-class, accessible education opportunities that enrich lives and make bright futures a reality for all, by providing educational excellence, championing social mobility and driving economic prosperity.’

A number of business leaders demonstrated how they support DCG and also showed the practical activities that they create for the students.

There were some great presentations from Keith Cox, Director at Bloc Digital,  Gareth Hague, Business and Relations Lead at Alstom and Faye Leatt, Project Coordinator at University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust all delivered some brilliant messages around, how their businesses are part of strong partnership with DCG, their input into the strategic direction, their investment in the students and in turn how they are giving students some great opportunities.

Carol Dixon said of working with employers: “I want to give a heartfelt thank you to all the employers that work with us and thank all those that took the time to share their experiences today. The employer input is invaluable, and they also have seen the benefits from the partnership.

“These are exciting times in further education and particularly for DCG as we forge new partnerships and working relationships – most importantly with employers across the public and private sectors.

“And if anyone would like to support the College, that would be really welcomed, it could be by joining a Employment and Skills Board, giving a guest lecture, offering work experience or an apprenticeship, any support is appreciated.”

It was reiterated that the College really does put the students first, however, there are challenges, for example 30% of students aged 16 join the College without GCSE English, Maths or both and 25% of students (16-18) are disadvantaged, however the college looks to remove any barriers for all students in order for them to succeed.

Aaron Denton, Director of Student Experience and Pastoral Support for DCG and Paula Nightingale, Head of Inclusion and Intervention at Derby City Council, showed why supported internships are so important and how their drive is to ensure that disadvantaged students get to ‘Live the best life.’ Richard Woolley, Learning and Development Manager at GXO Logistics illustrated, how it really enriches a student’s life by giving them the opportunities and why they endeavour to adapt and change to meet the students needs.

Supported internships are a structured, work-based study programme for 16 to 24-year-olds with Special educational needs and disabilities (who have an education, health and care plan. The core aim of a supported internship study programme is a substantial work placement, facilitated by the support of an expert job coach. They are fully supported by the College and spend most of their learning time in a workplace.

Aaron Denton commented “The internships provide the opportunity for young people to achieve sustained, paid employment by equipping them with the skills they need. We have had so many successes where young people have gone on to be in roles they really enjoy and feel fulfilled.”

And if you want to support Derby College students you can speak with a member of the business development team, please email or call 01332 387 421

And for specifically supported internships please email

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