University teams up with Kettering firm to help students

The Avenue campus, University of Northampton

The Avenue campus, University of Northampton

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Today will see the launch of a new and groundbreaking initiative by Kettering-based CJS Event Solutions Limited (CJS) and the University of Northampton.

The partnership initiative is aimed at bringing professional cost-effective business solutions to the commercial and public sectors while at the same time providing relevant work experience to students undertaking event management degrees.

With the graduate employment market becoming increasingly competitive, those without relevant work experience are struggling to find employment in their chosen field.

This partnership approach to events management, branded as ‘Joining Up,’ will bring direct benefits to communities, commerce and education.

Claire Leer, senior lecturer in event management and tourism at the university, said: “As provider of one of the UK’s leading event management courses, the University of Northampton is keen to ensure that their graduates leave their education with a balance of knowledge and practical experience that will ensure they are best equipped for the work place.

“This partnership is a fantastic example of how the public and private sectors can work together to deliver the desired outcomes. I am sure it will prove to be an additional attraction to any students seeking a place on our events management course.”

The initiative was the brainchild of Kevin Shapland, managing director of CJS, a company which has always been a keen supporter of the education sector and developing the potential of employees.

Mr Shapland said: “We have previously worked with the education system in Northamptonshire at all levels and, even when we may not have any current new employment on offer, have provided career advice and guidance to students.

“However, it has become increasingly common for CVs to land on my desk from graduates across the country seeking employment where there has been no evidence of any relevant work experience being undertaken during their period of study.

“As an employer these CVs will always go to the bottom of the pile.

“My hope is that this partnership will help to address some of these issues and I believe will prove to be a model that can be replicated across other sectors.”

Joining Up will provide students with a mixture of paid and voluntary opportunities to increase their practical experience not only with the university and CJS but also with other partners who have already agreed to support this initiative. These include: Kettering Conference Centre, Boughton House, Kents Hill Park Conference and Training Centre, Holiday Inn Corby, Chelsea Hire, Holiday Inn Express, Kettering, and Northamptonshire Enterprise Limited.

In addition to the benefits this will bring to the students, businesses and other organisations will also benefit.