Industry speakers for school and college students

Our Insights from Industry sessions for school and college students (14-18 years)  are led by volunteer speakers from the food, drink and retail industry. Our sessions are fun, participative, informative and free of charge. They give students:

  • an insight into the career journeys of individuals employed in all disciplines and at all levels of business
  • the chance to explore the diverse employment opportunities available in the food, drink and retail industry
  • an understanding of what they need to make themsleves ready for employment
  • the confidence to take control of their own future and realise their full potential

>The impact of our sessions on students.

>How our programmes help schools and colleges deliver the Gatsby Benchmarks.

How our Insights from Industry sessions work

Sessions are two-hours long and groups of 50 (minimum) to over 100 students aged 14-18 years can take part. All schools or colleges need to do, is book a room and get students there. We do ask that attendance is made compulsory and that there are at least two tutors present for the whole session to encourage active participation. The format of a typical session is as follows:

1  Welcome

One of our volunteer speakers will welcome students to the session, outline the format and introduce the other speakers.

2 Industry speaker talks

Our speakers – who come from all disciplines and levels in a company – have 10-15 minutes to tell their career journey from the age of 16 onwards. This is their chance to give the advice they wish they’d had when they were younger that would have helped and inspired them to succeed in their career.

We ask our speakers to:

  • highlight key stages of their career journey and talk about decisions they’ve made along the way or things they might have done differently
  • talk about any challenges they’ve faced and how they’ve overcome them
  • outline what employers are looking for in college leavers and graduates today
  • incorporate the Working Options five principles for success into their talks – excellent work standards, networking, perseverance, hard work and positive thinking.

3  Q & A

Talks are followed by a Q & A session where students can delve deeper into speaker’s careers.

4  Networking

Time for students and speakers to move around the room and network freely.

5  Feedback

At the end of the session, we ask all students, tutors and speakers to fill in a feedback form. This helps us to understand the impact of our sessions and to make any improvements needed.

NEW! Skills workshops

Following a successful pilot, we’re now rolling out a programme of smaller, participative workshops to the schools and colleges that have previously booked Insights from Industry sessions with us. We currently offer four workshops all led by volunteers from industry.

  • Interview skills
  • Presentations skills
  • Team working
  • Problem solving


College tutors are positive about the impact our sessions have on their students and here is what some of them have to say about working with us


This was an amazing opportunity for our learners to get a real insight into the business world and echoes the employability skills that are so crucial moving forward for our young people.


Ann Brennan, Head of Dept BTEC Business, Cardinal Newman College October 16, 2018

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Students report improved confidence, an increased awareness of the career options open to them and a desire to take control of their future. 


My decisions on careers shouldn’t all be based on financial remuneration.

Sixth form student September 11, 2017

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