The FSB’s Skills 30:30 initiative was applauded at a recent reception at the Houses of Parliament hosted by Rochester and Strood MP, Kelly Tolhurst.

As a business owner and MP, Ms Tolhurst has actively supported skills 30:30 from the outset explaining how important it is to the U.K. economy that students are work ready.

FSB Skills 30:30 Format

Trust Academies, Longfield, the Leigh and Wilmington have been at the forefront in piloting this useful education/business programme, the template of which is now ready to be rolled out nationally.

Consisting of useful separate workshops for businesses and students and culminating in both groups coming together for a session of speed networking, 5 of the 6 pilot events have been hosted by Leigh Academies Trust.

At each event, up to 50 post 16 students have had the opportunity to attend workshops including how to present themselves at interviews and how to be indispensable in the workplace. Business presentations have included the value of supported employment and apprenticeships. Students have had the chance to meet with local business owners to discuss industry sectors and practise real life business “interviews”.

Kent Supported Employment are regular contributors to these events and work closely with Milestone Academy on supported internships.


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Helen Walby, FSB Chair of Diversity

FSB Chair of Diversity, Helen Walby, urged the 100 or so attending Kent businesses to consider looking at employing those with additional needs illustrating her point with most uplifting testimony on the successes from her own business. Helen also lectures in business at the University of South Wales.

Thank you to Ms Tolhurst and the FSB for a highly engaging event and to the Kent business community for such invaluable support.

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From left to rightLouisa Felstead, Engagement Development Manager at Leigh Academies Trust, Alison Parmar FSB Development Manager Kent, Paul Andrews CEO Jobs in Kent, Kelly Tolhurst MP Strood and Rochester, Helen Walby FSB Chair of Diversity, Deborah Turner regular skills 30:30 presenter and FSB Women in Business spokeswoman and Darrel Linehan regular skills 30:30 presenter and governor at Wilmington Academy.

Future Skills 30:30 Events

The next two skills 30:30 events are to be held at the Leigh Academy on January 25th and Wilmington Academy on June 29th.

For interested business delegates, booking links are as follows:


Leigh Academy


Wilmington Academy


For further information on FSB skills 30:30, please see:—help-bridge-the-gap-between-schools-and-businesses