03 December 2015 Jenna Hadley

For the third consecutive year, the International Convention Centre (ICC), Birmingham invited students to gain hands-on experience of the events industry, focusing on the fields of event management, catering, floristry and journalism, through a work placement scheme in collaboration with the Association of Colleges (AoC).

The placement is designed to improve students’ employability and skill levels by gaining work experience during the AoC annual conference, this year held on 17th to 19th of November at the ICC which included catering students playing a vital role in the AoC's Gala Dinner under guidance of the award-winning in-house caterer Amadeus.

Linda Best, Associations Account Director for the ICC, who is instrumental in the collaboration with AoC said: “Each year the students are given the opportunity to work with our team of in-house experts. The feedback we have had is always very positive. This experience is invaluable to the students, not only giving them chance to work with a major conference but learning from some of the best in the events business. We enjoy having the students here each year and, of course, welcoming the AoC for their annual conference.”

Students that have benefitted from the placement travelled from across the UK to take part in the conference which included the Further Education institutions of Blackpool & the Fylde College, Derby College, Eastleigh College, South Cheshire College, City College Plymouth and Birmingham Metropolitan.

Andrea Jones, Senior Communications Manager for the AoC, commented: “The Association of Colleges understands how important work experience is, which is why we are proud of the student involvement in our Annual Conference and Exhibition. Students from across the country gain valuable practical knowledge in areas such as catering, event management and journalism over the three days. We hope that their experiences here can set them on their path to future career success.”

Working within the press office was Diana Read, a prospective journalist student from Birmingham Metropolitan who said: “The three days I got to spend doing work for the ICC and the AoC have been greatly informative. They have allowed me learn about areas like PR and marketing, write articles for the AoC website and experience being an actual journalist whilst at the conference. I'm thankful to the ICC for giving this valuable experience which I will be able to use when applying to university and for jobs.”