First Response Finance helps Derby students thrive

A leading vehicle finance company is making a positive impact on the results of Business A Level learners at Derby College.

First Response in Chilwell teamed up with the college to launch their Business and Finance Academy last year as part of Derby College’s Employer Academy programme to enable students to make a smooth transition from education to employment.

Part of the programme sees volunteers from First Response running specialist talks and workshops at the college. The aim of these sessions is to help students apply the theory they are learning to real life business situations.

Derby College’s Deputy Principal of Employer and Economic Affairs, April Hayhurst explained: “First Response Finance have taken the lead in providing extra support and real life scenarios for the students that is directly related to exam modules. “The input from the volunteers and the teaching staff’s implementation of new exam preparation skills and research techniques resulted in an average 8% improvement on grades for this module which shows the true benefit of the Academy to learners.”

Don Brough, CEO at First Response added “An average 8% increase in their grade is a huge improvement and shows the true benefit the Business and Finance Academy offers for the students. It also proves that additional help from local businesses to local schools and colleges can have a profound effect on students’ learning and ability to apply theory to real life examples.”

As part of the Academy programme, learners are also offered work experience at First Response with opportunities to apply for full time jobs and higher apprenticeships after they graduate from the college.

Successful learners include Shannon Riley (18) from Heanor who is now working at First Response Finance in a full time sales support role. Shannon studied Sociology, English and Business A levels at the Joseph Wright sixth form campus and applied to be part of the Business and Finance Employer Academy last year. She said: "First Response Finance’s input into our A Level studies was invaluable and I particularly enjoyed the work experience. “I was over the moon to be offered a job after leaving college and I love working here. Not only did Derby College help open the door at First Response, they gave me independent learning skills and helped get me ready for the workplace."

Find more information on the full Derby College Employer Academy programme at

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