Firmly establishing Falmouth’s importance for specialist industry training and jobs, more than 50 business people from across the country attended a student industry day.
Falmouth Marine School’s Industry Day welcomed businesses representing marine engineering, watersports, travel and a host of other sectors.
Also in attendance were Cornwall Chamber CEO Kim Conchie and Falmouth Mayor Grenville Chappel, who both praised the day that saw students exploring work opportunities.
“I’ve been coming to this event for three years, first year as Deputy Mayor and two years as the Mayor, and every year it has built,” explained Mr Chappel.
“This year I think it has built tremendously, there is much more here, it’s very to the point and I support this college a 100% as it’s an integral part of Falmouth.”
Kim Conchie concurred and added that he saw a wealth of “skilled young people who have the necessary life skills”.
“What employers are saying to me all the time, no matter what skillset students come out with, is they want people with the skills to be able to listen to a customer, look them in the eye and be forward thinking,” he added.
“The vibe I am getting here this morning is exactly that, people clued up so that they can be part of the workforce of the 21st century.”
Student Emily Hardisty said the day had been “a really good a chance to make lots of connections”.
Emily, 23, from Kent, studies FdSc Marine Science, and moved to Cornwall specifically for her course.
“I am interested in deep sea exploration and species discovery as a future career,” she explained.
Nancy Barnett, 29 from Ponsanooth attended the day having studied watersports at Falmouth Marine School when she was younger.
“It was the best course I have ever done and I went on to work in the watersports industry teaching windsurfing in Turkey, Egypt and Kenya before spending a winter season in Norway,” she said.
“I wasn’t sure what I was going to find today, but it’s a brilliant opportunity for everyone spread over three floors. There are loads of really interesting companies and it’s useful in expanding my knowledge of where I can work in the industry.”
For engineering manager at Mylor Yacht Harbour, Nathan Percival, Industry Day was an opportunity “to speak to young guys coming up through the industry and possibly taking on trainees and apprenticeships”.
“We do everything from repair fault finding serving major overhauls single cylinders up to V8s,” he explained.
“It’s a fantastic career to get into as it’s such a diverse industry and can lead to so many different pathways whether it be marine sales, management or the yachting industry for example. It’s a really good day the students are interested and asking all the right questions.”
Falmouth town manager Richard gates delivered a speech that highlighted the importance of businesses across the town working with the education institutions from primary schools to universities.
“There is so much energy and it’s so positive here today, and seeing it gives you that confidence in what Falmouth is about,” he added.
Head of Falmouth Marine School Justin Olosunde thanked the attending businesses and praised his students.
“We are very proud of our learners, our staff and the fantastic offering we provide for learners from all over the UK and beyond,” he said.
“Having said this, education is a tough sector to operate in and a huge amount of work needs to be done on a national governance level. It is still worrying that the perception of many young people, teachers and parents is that the only route to a successful career is through taking A-levels. It is a long perpetuated fallacy and we are delighted by the response of people when they see the incredible opportunities, our bright and ambitious students and the fantastic facilities we boast.
“The feedback from employers reinforces how working alongside industry and providing relevant courses creates a workforce that is fit for the 21st century.”