TWO of Huddersfield’s leading employers are letting students in on the secrets behind getting a job.
Bosses at online retailer Buy It Direct and fleet management business FMG, were so frustrated by the poor standard of job applications they were getting that they decided to launch their own programme to help students hone their job-hunting skills.
The companies joined forces with Kirklees College to run the Smart Start programme to give school leavers the chance to experience a real-life interview process while offering hints and tips on job applications, advice on writing CVs and covering letters as well as job searching.
The programme meant students learned about working practices from real employers and replicated the job-hunting process – from submitting applications to interviews with departmental managers.
Students receive individual feedback about their progress throughout the four-week course.
FMG chief executive John Catling said: “As a major employer in the area, it’s important that we look to the future and support local young people in their efforts to make the transition from their studies to employment.
“FMG is a people business and personal development is very high up on our agenda.
“The students produced some excellent CV’s and cover letters and hopefully we’ve been able to offer them some really useful advice.”
Rebecca Manning, human resources manager at Buy It Direct, said: “I read substandard applications on a daily basis, whilst also interviewing unprepared individuals every week.
“The shame of it is that many of them have the right skills, talent and potential but they have no idea how to package it.
“Running a programme like Smart Start allows us to teach and support, to make sure they do not fall in to this bracket, as well as teach the lessons to succeed.”
Both FMG and Buy It Direct have pledged to offer students on the course continued support in terms of one-to-one advice – and offer the opportunity of jobs for outstanding candidates.
Buy it Direct, based at Leeds Road, is one of the UK’s fastest growing online retailers and operates several specialist brands, including Laptops Direct, Direct TVs, Appliances Direct and Bambino Direct as well as running concession websites for Debenhams and BHS.
Vehicle incident management and roadside recovery firm FMG, based at St Andrew’s Road, was founded in 1986 and employs more than 340 people. Clients include the Highways Agency and parcels delivery firm DHL.