The Leigh Academy is committed to fully supporting all students to make the best choices for them when looking at future possible destinations. Accordingly, the academy was delighted to again host the FSB (Federation of Small Businesses) Skills 30:30 event for year 13 students who are looking to enter the workplace at the end of this academic year

Hosted in two parts, participating students enjoyed an insightful workshop with Paul Andrews, CEO of Jobs in Kent.  Topics discussed included how the job market has changed, apprenticeships, financial technology, entrepreneurship, applying for a job and using professional platforms such as LinkedIn.

Meanwhile, chaired by Alison Parmar of the FSB, a varied group of small business owners and employees met at the academy for a round table discussion. Alison explained the work of the FSB as a business support and lobbying organisation and Mark Parrin of Kent Supported Employment talked about his organisations work with businesses giving access to employment for those with learning difficulties, particularly those with autism.

Business delegates met for a round table discussion


The group was then  joined by Head of Post 16 at the academy, Mr Burton who thanked delegates for volunteering their time and explained the journey of his students thus far. He particularly asked guests to give constructive feedback to the students that our guests were then to meet.

The event culminated in a facilitated speed networking session where each student had the opportunity to meet and talk with a number of business guests- in effect, a series of mini interviews.


The hour long speed networking passed in what seemed to be no time at all with guests and students keen to talk further!. Thank you to everyone concerned for yet another successful such event.

Comments on the event were as follows:


  • The students were confident without being over confident  – David
  • What an exceptional bunch of young people.  Employers want to see passion and these students had it in droves – Tony (recruitment professional)
  • The students were passionate and inspirational.  I was impressed with the questions they asked – Gospel
  • The students were very involved in finding out about the business I am involved in and my career path.  Their body language and eye contact was brilliant! – Donna


  • It was really helpful finding out how to further my career – Alex
  • Really helped me to look for experiences and direction for my career – Max
  • I feel like it’s helped me fine tune what I want to specialise in and how to make those connections – Eden
  • It’s definitely improved my communication skills in an interview environment – Megan
  • Incredibly helpful, confidence building and eye opening! – Yana