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Student interns show the benefits of Humber LEP’s Skills Pledge

HETA Hull, Kingston Upon Hull, East Yorkshire, United Kingdom, 13 July, 2015. Pictured: LtoR Interns with Rachel Bird

Rachel Bird (right), accounts administrator at HETA, with student interns Alex Wise and Charity Buachie

A company which specialises in training engineers has broadened its focus to embrace other skills through a partnership with the Humber Local Enterprise Partnership and Hull University Business School.

Humberside Engineering Training Association (HETA) has completed a pilot project to provide opportunities for business student interns. Iain Elliott, Chief Executive of HETA, said the venture was a great success and his organisation intends to repeat the exercise next year.

Alex Wise, who comes from Hull and has just finished his first year studying management and business, and Charity Buachie, a Londoner who has just graduated in economics, each spent eight weeks with HETA as part of the organisation’s commitment to the Humber LEP’s Skills Pledge.

Alex said: “I wanted to do a mixture of everything – marketing, talking to apprentices, creating case studies, HR. My role involved me going out and communicating with groups of people of different ages, including in schools. I have learned a lot, and more than I expected.”

Charity added: “I have been working on various projects in the accounts department including purchase ledger and Sage, which I have never had the opportunity to do before. I have found it very useful, developing my skills and learning more about how business works. I’m looking for a graduate job and would like a finance related role in the future.”

The Humber LEP’s Skills Pledge aims to bridge the gap and encourage joint working between education, employers, training providers, local councils and other organisations.

Mike Parker, Chair of the LEP’s Employment and Skills Board, said: “It’s always fantastic to hear about how organisations are delivering on their Skills Pledge commitment. This is a great example of how, by working in partnership, students and graduates are able to benefit from being in a real working environment, developing their employability skills and adding meaningful work experience to their CVs.”

Iain Elliott said: “As a learning organisation, skills development is what we do, whether for the large cohort of apprentices that we train each year, the adult learners who come to us for upskilling courses or our own staff.

“The aim of this project was to provide paid work experience opportunities to upcoming talent and to see if they could add value to what we do in Hull.  The project has proved to be highly successful with both undergraduates having some real impact on what we do here and being able to make a contribution.

“It is something that we intend to repeat next year. I would appeal to all undergraduates to look out for these types of opportunities. I would encourage other employers to get involved with the LEP’s Skills Pledge and to look to take on graduates and apprentices to enhance the work they may already be doing with their own workforce.”

Valerie Monaghan, Graduate Skills and Careers Manager at Hull University Business School, said: “All our students are encouraged to undertake some form of real world work experience as part of their degree programme to ready them for future employment. It is fantastic that they are able to support local businesses in the Humber region.

“We are delighted that Alex and Charity have embraced these opportunities with HETA and made such a positive impression, and we look forward to working with the organisation in the future.”