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The Corporation

Posted: 06/01/22

Students make it their business to succeed

Young entrepreneurs spoke of their business success at West Nottinghamshire College following almost two years of trading in fledgling enterprises.

  • The Resolve IT learning company has seen great success with its repair service
  • Vice principal Matt Vaughan introduced the presentation event and congratulated the students' successes
  • Students highlighted the benefits of their learning companies and where they can make improvements in the future
  • The event helped students to improve their research and presenting skills

Eleven learning companies spanning the range of curriculum areas at the college were showcased at a celebration event before the Christmas half-term break, seeing more than 50 students present their business plans and success to date to college governors, district councillors, staff and fellow students.

The learning companies were set up to enhance students’ work-related knowledge and skills to run alongside their study programmes. Key employability skills such as customer service, financial management, problem-solving and teamwork are now flourishing amongst all groups.

The eleven companies are as follows:

  • Resolve IT – computer science
  • Introduction To Strategic Solutions – business studies
  • Create – creative arts
  • Health and social care
  • Meraki – beauty therapy
  • Story Sacks – early years
  • Vision Tours – travel and tourism
  • Engineering
  • Construction
  • WNC Auto Centre – motor vehicle
  • Refined Bakehouse – hospitality and catering

Each company seeks to create job roles within the business framework, meaning students take on the roles of managing directors, marketing managers and finance officers, who then report back on their companies’ success and future strategies required.

Great work has already been seen through the venture with computer science students’ business ‘Resolve IT’. This group has had success with many projects including refurbishing 113 laptops, creating custom builds for numerous clients, working on an external venture which provided rebuilt laptops, tablets and desktop systems to schoolchildren and young people in the community who are experiencing digital poverty in the Mansfield and Ashfield areas.

Another of the learning companies reaping rewards is ‘WNC Auto Centre’, based at the college’s engineering innovation centre. This venture, overseen by motor vehicle engineering students, is a live garage offering a range of services to college staff, including car health checks, exhaust replacement and lightbulb and wiper fitting.

The company, staffed by a total of 84 students so far, has already purchased over £8k worth of products and is in profit by over £3k and looking to expand its provision in 2022.

Meanwhile, the early years team has produced a range of interactive and creative products for young children in the shape of ‘Story Sacks’. These literacy and numeracy improvement packages include laminated books and activity sheets for early years providers to help immerse young children deeper into  story times while giving them additional reading and number skills.

Members of the audience at the showcase event highlighted to the students just how transferrable the Story Sacks could be for other settings including for parents and for playgroups.

Matt Vaughan, Vice Principal - Curriculum and Quality, said: “I was incredibly proud to see our students who are immersed in their learning companies confidently present their success. It’s clear that a lot of hard work and dedication has gone into each company in order to get them up and running and becoming popular services which external and internal clients are now using.

“Whatever the current stage of progress each company is in, this unique part of the college’s extra-curricular activity is exceptional in enhancing students’ entrepreneurial and business skills above and beyond the ‘core offer’. No other college in the land has such a focus and it is one we should be very proud of!”