College teams up with Barrow BID for first virtual work experience programme

Business students from Furness College have been coming up with innovative ideas to create a town centre that meets the needs of young people.

The college has teamed up with Barrow BID for a two-week virtual work experience programme featuring a host of guest speakers.

The students, who are all on the business administration course at Channelside, have been developing their ideas on three projects via on Teams presentations.

The students are tasked to become consultants and create proposals focused on young people for a town centre event, a new product or service shop or to regenerate a derelict piece of land.

The event was launched by Colin Garnett, from Barrow BID, who has been working alongside the college’s business development lead Keith Holmes on the project.

“This is our first ever VWEX – acting as a pilot – which is very exciting and showcases the college as one of the first in the country to host and design their own programme,” said Keith.

“We have a whole cohort of students collaborating every day to support local businesses and we can’t wait to see the results and, better still, start to implement them.”

MP for Barrow and Furness Simon Fell spoke to the students via Teams on the subject of business environments drawing on his own experiences.

“I really enjoyed speaking to these students about working in business, the importance of understanding the environment you are operating in order to turn an idea into a successful product, and why robust debate is an important part of working in business or politics,” he said. “I wish the students all the best.”

Other speakers have included Lily Piachaud, of New Constellations, taking about how to get creative and generate ideas, Claire Croskery, of Furness College, on the importance of marketing and a presentation and Q&A from Stuart Klosinski, of S and T Klosinski Economic Development Consultants Ltd, about ways of being enterprising.

The 13 students will pitch their ideas to Barrow BID management, who hope to use them to help transform the town centre for future generations.

Colin said a small VWEX panel will feedback and decide the winners for best overall project, best project presentation (including delivery) and most valuable student.

“We will be looking at their teamwork, management of discussions and ideas, use of IT research, resources and external data and initiative,” he said. “We can’t wait to see what the young people come up with.”

The final judging will take place next Friday.

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