FSB Skills 30:30 at Longfield Academy 2019

Longfield Academy governor, Tracy-Anne Barker

Longfield Academy was again delighted to host an FSB Skills 30:30 event recently.

A group of diverse business owners came to the academy and enjoyed a networking opportunity as well gaining useful business information.

Delegates networking

Businesses were welcomed by Paul Andrews, CEO of Jobs in Kent. As the long time co-host of this event which is now going into its fifth year, Paul related that some 1,350 students have now participated in Kent and that the initiative is now being rolled out nationally. Leigh Academies Trust are proud to have piloted this successful initiative.

Organiser, Alison Parmar of the Kent & Medway FSB gave useful information on upcoming business events

Mark Parrin of Kent Supported Employment informed employers on how they can tap into this useful free service to help them employ and support workers with disabilities. Services include helping businesses to become “disability confident”

Tracy-Anne Barker spoke about the next generations of employees, Generation Z and Millenials and what they look for from an employer. Read her blog on this subject here

Meanwhile, year 12 students participated in their own workshops

Paul Andrews explained to students that they are the first generation to be ‘work ready’ as regards technology, so they are really sought after in the workplace. He encouraged them to set up a LinkedIn Profile and use LinkedIn to research companies, find out who works there, see their history and how they got to where they are today. This will put them ahead of the game.

James Garner, Managing Director of Sinclair and Rush, discussed what businesses look for in an applicant. He gave students advice on what to put in a C.V and covering letter to catch the attention of the business; what have students done that is different? He elaborated that everyone has exam results but what he looks for is the person behind the qualifications such as hobbies and interests; perhaps if they’ve captained a team as this evidences leadership skills.

He emphasised the importance of researching a company prior to interview and practising interview questions.


As the finale to the event, businesses and students came together for a “fast and furious” session of facilitated speed networking- in effect, a series of mini- interviews for each student. Students avidly engaged with the attending businesses and took every opportunity to find out about our guests as well as relating their own career aspirations.

Delegate comments:

A great privilege to support students at the Longfield Academy

I cannot stress enough in words how impressed I was with those students! Being on the front line previously, I have seen many students and they are honestly some of the best I have met; so capable, fantastic interview skills and a huge motivation to do what they dream of.

Thank you to both businesses and students for their active participation.

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