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The Corporation

Posted: 06/11/18

Retail giant makes business sense for students

Business students at West Nottinghamshire College are getting work-ready, thanks to a partnership project with one of the UK’s largest retail stores.

  • Business tutor Alex Norbury (left) with ASDA store manager Dan Wharrier (right) and business students
  • ASDA's Dan Wharrier and Sue Derbyshire speak to students at the 2018 Future Business Leader competition

Supermarket giant ASDA’s store on Forest Town, Mansfield, is helping BTEC National Diploma Level 3 Business students understand some of the key characteristics of model employees, thanks to a series of talks, projects, and plans for students to have work placements at the local branch.

Store manager Dan Wharrier has visited the group at the college’s Derby Road campus to deliver information sessions on what makes a good employer and to talk about staff behaviours and employability skills needed in today’s retail industry.

Dan is also heavily involved in the college’s annual Future Business Leader competition, which sees students challenged to create a product and present their research, marketing plan and projected sales to a judging panel of local business leaders, which he also sits on.

Business tutor Alex Norbury, who established the partnership with ASDA alongside head of school for business, Jane Fishwick, said: “Our link with ASDA is already proving invaluable for the students. They’ve met Dan and members of his team already, getting first-hand advice from him about how a busy store is run and the importance of attitude, personality and resilience for career progression.

“This is going to develop their employability skills and prepare them for future careers and expose them directly to the real world of business, which will bring the curriculum and theory of business to life.

“We’re looking forward to future work placements with the management and support teams in store so that learners will leave college with the advantage of having experienced a variety of real-life business scenarios.”

The college has plans for ASDA management to have input on assignment briefs and to assess the students in a practical way.

Dan Wharrier said: “We’re delighted to be on board with the business students at the college and to be able to offer them some first-hand retail experience.

“Even when I met the students for the first time, their willingness to learn more highlighted some vital employability skills – confidence and good personalities. At ASDA we hire for attitude and train for skill. The students appear socially-confident and this is a real plus point for working in retail."