A former Derby College Group (DCG) IT student has returned to the Digital Communications Academy at the Joseph Wright post 16 Academic and Arts college to inspire young people at the start of their further education careers.

Mike Perkins (21) secured a full time job at The Royal Bank of Scotland in Kegworth which provides IT and property support across the global banking group – after completing a work experience placement there as part of his college study programme.

Mike and colleagues from The Royal Bank of Scotland were joined at the Academy’s induction day for students by representatives from a wide range of other companies who will also be supporting this year’s 100-strong IT student body with specialist talks, projects, work experience and placements.

Students learnt about career opportunities at RBS and their recruitment partner Lorien Resourcing, Rolls-Royce, RDS Global, Lubrizol, Koobr as well as higher education options at the University of Derby and volunteering opportunities with Code Club.

The Royal Bank of Scotland has worked in partnership with DCG for four years – providing additional training for IT students and work placement opportunities –  and has recruited more than 20 students into full time roles.

Mike Perkins joined DCG on an IT study programme from Belper School.  Following work experience at RBS, he was appointed as a service desk analyst three years ago and was then promoted to a senior role before progressing into the company’s Digital and Automation team.

Mike explained:

“My main message to students is to embrace the opportunities that are available to them to work with employers during their study programme.

“College really prepared me for the world of work and instilled a good work ethic whilst gaining qualifications.

“Having the opportunity to do work experience helped me to appreciate the many different career opportunities there are and what employers expect in the workplace.

“It definitely gave me and the other students an advantage when applying for jobs both at The Royal Bank of Scotland and other companies.”

The Royal Bank of Scotland Senior Team Leader Paul Wyatt:

“We have successfully recruited a number of students from Derby College over the past four years.

 “We find that they are ready for the workplace from day one and often progress much quicker than many other new recruits of the same age.”

Pardeep Bring, who is a Consultant for the team in Kegworth, continued:

“Our aim is to support young people in the local community by embedding the technical and employability skills during the work placements.  We also help students develop their CVs and interview skills.

“By working in partnership with the college, we can better prepare them for the future – whether that is university, apprenticeships or work.”

Digital Communications Lecturer Mark Shore concluded:

“Inviting employers that we work with into the Academy on day one confirms just how important these companies are to their college careers.

“It clearly establishes in the young people’s minds that the purpose of their time here is to prepare them for the next stage of their lives.

“The day particularly highlights that employability skills such as communication, team work as well as good English and Maths skills are just as important as the IT qualifications that they will be working towards during their time with us.”