Oxfordshire's business leaders future proofed at Witney Business & Innovation Centre
PUBLISHED: 11:24 20 February 2014 | UPDATED: 11:24 20 February 2014
The prospects of Oxfordshire's future business leaders will be given a boost thanks to an exciting new partnership announced today.
A collaboration of Abingdon and Witney College and Witney Business & Innovation Centre.
The ‘Futures Partnership’ is taking a holistic approach to improving the skills of students by drawing on the wealth of business acumen in the district and within the Witney Business & Innovation Centre. Created to link specifically with the curriculum and core skills programme that Abingdon and Witney College business students follow, the Futures Partnership will give participants a flavour of business ‘at the pointy end’.
A number of projects have already been ear-marked for the Futures Partnership, each of which will present fresh and challenging opportunities for the College students to fully grasp the skills needed to succeed in business.
In January, entrepreneurs and business owners from Witney Business & Innovation Centre will join students at the Kassam Stadium for ‘Get Aware’, a Dragon’s Den-esque nationwide event. While most will be on hand to offer one-to-one mentoring for the students, a number of business leaders will also be ‘experts’ putting the students through their paces.
A few months later, Witney Business & Innovation Centre will host students for an Entrepreneurship and Networking Event. A mix of skills workshops facilitated by the Centre’s tenants and local business leaders, students will also gain invaluable networking experience in a positive and supportive environment. Speaking at the launch of the Futures Partnership, Mark Byerley, Faculty Lead, The Oxfordshire Business & Enterprise School at Abingdon and Witney College, said:
“In an increasingly competitive market, providing our students with the opportunity to interact with local companies and business leaders is invaluable. Through our partnership with Witney Business and Innovation Centre our students will gain this experience, make useful contacts for their future and hopefully inspire some to become world business leaders and entrepreneurs of the future.”
In addition to the Futures Partnership events, Witney Business & Innovation Centre will offer its first apprenticeship to a student from Abingdon and Witney College. The apprenticeship will give the successful applicant the chance to experience the business administration of running a successful Innovation Centre while also being exposed to a broad range of the different businesses based at the Centre.
Stephanie Henwood, Centre manager, Witney Business & Innovation Centre is delighted that a brief conversation between herself and Faculty Lead, Mark Byerley, has resulted in the Futures Partnership, she said:
“We believe wholly in providing a collusive working relationship with all our customers at the Witney Business & Innovation Centre and through our sister centres in the Oxford Innovation group. Extending this collusive approach to business students at Abingdon and Witney College has made perfect sense and we really hope that in future some of those who attend our events this year, will in a couple of years be coming to us to take office space for their own business.”
Amy Phillips (17) from Burford is studying for her Level 3 Extended Diploma in Business and will be one of the students to benefit from the Futures Partnership. She said: “I think it’s a really good opportunity for students, the college and businesses at the centre and I’m really looking forward to taking part in the Entrepreneurship and Networking Event. The partnership will also gain greater recognition for our course and will be respected by a lot of people at the college and from the business community.”
A collaboration of Abingdon and Witney College and Witney Business & Innovation Centre, the ‘Futures Partnership’ is also supported by the Centre’s landlord, Blenheim Palace, and Oxford Innovation, the UK’s leading operator of innovation centres.
To find out more information about the services provided at Witney Business & Innovation Centre visit: www.witney-bic.co.uk
Witney Business & Innovation Centre - Witney Business & Innovation Centre is owned by Blenheim Palace and run by Oxford Innovation. It provides flexible office space, virtual offices and meeting rooms in a professional serviced environment, allowing you to focus on running your business. The centre is a brand new facility in a refurbished building on the outskirts of Witney, at the entrance to the Windrush Industrial Park. Offices vary from 100 sq. ft. to 3,000 sq. ft., which can accommodate between 1 and 30 people. Multiple offices can also be taken if more space is required. www.witney-bic.co.uk
Oxford Innovation - Oxford Innovation is a leading operator of business and innovation centres that provide office and laboratory space to companies throughout the UK. Witney Business & Innovation Centre is one of seven local centres managed by Oxford Innovation in Oxfordshire. The company also provides innovation services to entrepreneurs, including business-planning advice, fund raising, coaching and mentoring. For more information: www.oxin-centres.co.uk
Abingdon & Witney College - Abingdon and Witney College is located at three main sites in Abingdon, Witney and Common Leys Farm near Hailey. A centre at Milton Park, near Didcot, provides bespoke training solutions for businesses including a growing apprenticeships programme. A centre, Avenue One in Witney, provides industry-specific training in construction skills and associated trades.
The college’s major catchment areas are south and west Oxfordshire with significant numbers of students recruited from the City of Oxford. The most recent Framework for Excellence results place it first in Oxfordshire, with the highest percentage of students progressing into employment and learning after completing their course. In addition to a wide range of innovative vocational programmes and the College is well known for its high quality provision for students with learning difficulties and disabilities. It also offers a range of well regarded programmes at degree level in partnership with Oxford Brookes University. www.abingdon-witney.ac.uk