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Successful skills Speed Networking involves 200 students and 150 businesses

200 students from 14 Black Country schools and 150 business representatives attended a speed networking event last week organised by The Black Country Skills Factory in collaboration with The Black Country Chamber of Commerce.

Each student had 5 minutes with a business representative before moving on to the next business. The event focused on giving local young people the vital transferrable skills they need in readiness for the career choices they will make and was held during Black Country Business Festival Week with the aim of bringing young people together with local business leaders from the area.

Enterprise Coordinators from The Black Country Skills Factory and Chamber of Commerce organised a pre-lesson workshop in school a week before the event with each attending school to give the students interview and questioning skills to really put the business guests to work.

Schools were able to choose which year group they felt would benefit most from this event. Students ranged from Key Stage 4-5. High Arcal School in Dudley’s preparation rationale was to converse with each Form Tutor who then nominated a pupil they felt would most benefit from having up to 16 x different conversations with a business person, for more directional insight in a career.

Businesses from all over the Black Country supported the event, some sending more than one representative from different departmental functions. All areas of the local enriched labour market were covered including engineering, manufacturing, legal, retail, and IT technology.

Each interview was timed for 5 minutes, then upon Signal [Radio] 107’s prompt, business guests moved, and the whole process was repeated. Wolverhampton Racecourse was the host venue to accommodate volume of numbers attending.

Colin Parker, Skills Factory Director said:

I am hugely proud of our Black Country Businesses who turned up today to support the largest ever Careers Speed Network event held in the Black Country, it is vital that young people experience meaningful encounters with the world of work during their time in education and this event will certainly have a positive impact on all of those young people taking part.’’

Arvind Batra RSA Academy said:

The opportunities offered through the Black Country Skills Factory for our students have been both insightful and inspirational. Congratulations on the fantastic event speed networking event - the students got so much out of it and there was a lot of buzz on the way home in the coach!”

Positive comments from pupils included:

This was a great day and has secured my future plans more.”
Good experience, advice was useful. Have a firmer idea of what to do in the future.”
Thank you for taking time out of your lives to benefit us. I appreciate all of the advice you gave us!”

Attending Schools were; Aldersley High, Barr Beacon, Colton Hills Community, High Arcal, Highfields, Hillcrest School and Community College, Holly Hall Academy, Moreton Community, Our Lady and St Chad Catholic Academy, RSA Academy, West Walsall E-ACT Academy, Willenhall E-ACT Academy.

Corin Crane CEO of Black Country Chamber of Commerce closed the event with some rousing comments of how the event next year would be a definite - and on a larger scale.


For further information contact Helen Annetts, PR on Behalf of the Black Country LEP on 07779026720 or email:

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