First Response help students thrive

Derby College students get a boost in grades

Last year First Response Finance teamed up with Derby College and managed to make a positive impact on the results of A Level Business students.Derby College logo

First Response already offer apprenticeships for university students which is offered through the Nottingham Business School, a part of Nottingham Trent University, but recently decided to help students before they get to university level. To do this they partnered with Derby College to launch a Business and Finance Academy, which is a part of Derby College’s Employer Academy programmes, and enables students to make a smooth transition from education to employment.

As part of the programme the college sees volunteers running specialist talks and workshops at the college. The aim of these sessions is to help students apply the theory they are learning to real life business situations. The idea behind the initiative is to get the students to think outside of the box when it comes to exams and real life working situations.

The students who received these workshops and talks from First Response Finance improved their module grades by 8%

The results the students have received in their exams are amazing. As a company we're glad that we've been able to help them apply the theory they were learning to real business situations. This year is now set to be even bigger than last year with more volunteers across the business wanting to get involved; plus we will also be providing support to BTEC students in addition to A Levels.

"An average 8% increase in their grade is a huge improvement and shows the true benefit the Business and Finance Academy offers for the students. It also proves that additional help from local businesses to local schools can have a profound effect on students’ learning and ability to apply theory to real life examples." - First Response Finance's CEO, Don Brough

Students were asked to give feedback across the course of the workshops, which was used to improve sessions as they happened. It became clear early on that students were looking for as many examples as possible of how the theory could be applied, not just for First Response. This meant we quickly adapted our content to teach them about how it works with other businesses that the students could relate to such as retail or technology brands.

Shannon, a graduate of Derby College

As part of the Academy programme, students are also offered work experience at First Response with opportunities to apply for full time jobs and higher apprenticeships after they graduate from the college. In fact this year we've hired our first Derby College graduate, Shannon, in order to teach them the ropes about business, finance and understanding how companies work. Shannon is now working full time as one of our Sales Support and appreciates the work that First Response and Derby College have done to help bridge this gap between education and employment.

"The workshops and talks that were given during our A Level studies were invaluable and I particularly enjoyed the work experience that was offered. Derby College helped open the door at First Response and they gave me independent learning skills that helped get me ready for the workplace." - Shannon

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