Development and regeneration in Barking and Dagenham

Students showcase skills to industry leaders

By James Renoux-Wood - Mon 16 March 2015, 4:41 pm

More than 120 students showcased their skills to industry leaders recently at Barking & Dagenham College’s Inspiration 2015 event.

Local director of the Metro Bank, Lee Summers (third from right) and members of the winning students – Alpha Team - as well as other colleagues from Metro Bank

They were invited to enter a range of competitions, many of which are hosted and judged by industry experts. Challenges included designing a new smart phone app, a video challenge for TV and film production students, brickwork, plastering, painting and decorating, and beauty therapy. 

Cathy Walsh OBE, principal and CEO of Barking & Dagenham College, said: “Timed to coincide with National Apprenticeship Week, this is the third year we have held an Inspiration event and each year it has got bigger and better. Employers join us to talent spot for apprentices for their business, judge the competitors work and this year many have approached me to say how impressed they are with our students’ technical abilities and employability skills.

“Industry-supported competitions definitely drive up standards and help our students to understand how they need to perform in the workplace. Inspiration 2015 is an extended skills assessment opportunity for both students and employers.”

Adeel Fareed from Upton Park, who was part of the winning team in the construction management challenge, said: “Competitions really help us. We are expected to perform infront of people from the industry, which is scary but also helps to build our confidence.  It’s a great opportunity.”  

Inspiration 2015 employer partners and sponsors included Metro Bank, Pimlico Plumbers, Estee Lauder, Gojimo, Dulux, VINCI Facilities, Swift Brickwork, Macs Plasterboard Systems, and Jewson.  

Lee Summers, local director of Metro Bank, which hosted the Metro Bank Challenge, said: “As a community bank, building strong relationships with local people and businesses is really important to us. 

“We were thrilled to be able to support Inspiration 2015 for the second year running. The students are always very innovative and we’ve heard some really inspirational ideas over the course of the day. We look forward to continuing to support the event going forward.”


In other news from Barking and Dagenham College, two students have been working with the North East London NHS Foundation Trust (NELFT) to help design a new app, which will save mental health doctors time when finding treatment and care guidance.

The duo were commissioned by the trust to provide the technical platform to bring the new Doctors On Call Support app to life. It is believed to be the first app of its kind in the UK and replaces hundreds of pages of online guidance documents, including policies and procedures which are stored on the NELFT intranet and internet.  It can be accessed from any smart phone or tablet and also works without internet connection and has features to ensure policies, procedures and guidelines are always kept up-to-date.

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