We were delighted to receive an update from the FSB (Federation of Small Businesses) on geographical expansion plans for skills 30:30- an education/business  initiative that Leigh Academies Trust has been heavily involved in.

Extracts from the report are as follows:

FSB members in Kent rate a skills shortage as one of the top three obstacles to their business growth.

A practical way devised to break employers’ perceptions that young people are not work-ready and to help students understand the need for employability skills was devised to help businesses meet students face-to-face. The aim was twofold – for students to meet a wide range of local employers and the self-employed and to help them consider entrepreneurship as a future career path; and for businesses to understand the aspirations, talents and potential skills of young people as a future workforce.

The result was a two-hour workshop called ‘Skills 30:30’ where 30 business owners would be invited to meet 30 students.

Since 2014 FSB Kent and Medway has run seven Skills 30:30 workshops, enabling approximately 200 students to meet with 200 businesses.

29 June 2018 Wilmington Academy, Dartford BOOKED
June 2018 Wrotham School, Tonbridge, TBC
25 January 2018 Leigh Academy, Dartford
19 October 2017 Hugh Christie School, Tonbridge
9 September 2017 Longfield Academy, Dartford
30 June 2017 Wilmington Academy, Dartford
27 January 2017 The Leigh Academy, Dartford
21 September 2016 Longfield Academy, Dartford
November 2015 Longfield Academy, Dartford

6 of the 7 previous events have been hosted at LAT academies

We have been able to do this thanks to the enthusiastic support of Kelly Tolhurst Member of Parliament for Rochester and Strood; Louisa Felstead of The Leigh Academies Trust and Nicolas Heslop, Leader of Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council.

As a direct result of Skills 30:30, mentorships have been arranged, skills swaps set up, businesses are now engaging with schools as Enterprise Advisors and businesses are now employing staff with supported needs due to awareness of the Kent Supported Employment team at Kent County Council.

Interest in participating in Skills 30:30 has been expressed by other schools and academy trusts in Kent as well as a group of sixth form colleges.

The Kent Youth Conference led by FSB member Patrick Cantellow, now in its third year, has invited FSB to run a Skill 30:30 workshops at their conference on 21 January 2019.

FSB Kent is keen to gather support from FSB Head Office on how we may facilitate this further across the South East.

Skills 30:30 team

We cannot run these free events without the time, commitment and enthusiasm of Skills 30:30 hosts and workshop leaders. They are:

Paul Andrews, CEO, Jobs in Kent

Louisa Felstead, The Leigh Academies Trust

Deborah Turner, YOU Image Consultant and FSB Kent Area Leader

Darrel Linehan, The Marketing Link


Businesses Students
1 hour networking and presentations

FSB Lobbying update

Kent Supported Employment team or the

Enterprise Advisor Network

1 hour workshop

How to present yourself at work


How to stand out in your new job and use LinkedIn to your advantage

40 minutes facilitated-networking

10 minutes free-networking