Founding and Employer Partners help students prepare to make outstanding first impressions

Year 13 students at Ron Dearing UTC took part in a range of workshops last week to give them the edge when applying for apprenticeships, employment or university places.

Representatives from several of the school’s Founding and Employer Partners spent time with almost 130 students across three days, helping them develop their professional profiles for CVs and application forms and sharing interview techniques before putting them through mock interviews.

The workshops also provided an ideal opportunity for the students to make a strong impression with the Employer Partners, which include some of the region’s leading businesses, ahead of the next round of applications for 2022 apprenticeships.

Harper Fox Partners, a Partner of Ron Dearing UTC, is an innovative recruitment company pioneering leadership and executive search solutions for the global energy, engineering, technology and manufacturing industries. The company was founded by The Apprentice 2019 finalist Scarlett Allen-Horton. Lord Sugar, who hosts the hit BBC television series, has since invested in her business.

Scarlett and the company’s Business Development Manager Luke Munday shared CV writing and pitching skills, as well as top tips on how students can promote their ‘personal brand’ and profiles to make a positive first impression.

Ron Dearing UTC students taking part in the workshops.


Students were encouraged to work in groups to share their ideas before volunteers presented their pitch to their peers, encouraging confidence and leadership.

Scarlett spoke to the students as part of Harper Fox Partners’ ‘From Classroom to Boardroom Alliance’, which inspires students to be the best they can be at the highest level.

The Alliance recognises skills shortages within the energy, technology and engineering sectors across the world and aims to encourage young people, particularly young women, to pursue a career within these industries.

Scarlett said: “It was brilliant to meet the students and they were all so passionate and engaged.

“They have so many opportunities open to them through Ron Dearing UTC. It’s a privilege to be able to share knowledge and expertise that will hopefully support the next generation of leaders in our sectors, which we are so passionate about.”

Luke said: “The students are going away from this workshop knowing how to promote themselves.”

Students also took part in workshops about how to stand out from the crowd with representatives from Founding Partners Siemens Gamesa and Spencer Group.

This Siemens Gamesa session focused on how to complete application forms effectively and perform well at interview to set them apart from other applicants, as well as more on personal brand, values, strengths, skills and achievements.

Jamie Mears and Haitam Amudi.


The Spencer Group session focused on potential negative features of an interview and how best for students to introduce themselves, alongside a presentation on top tips for online and in-person interviews.

Mock interviews then took place with 20 representatives from Founding and Employer Partners to enable the students to practice their interview technique and receive feedback from professionals about what they did well and how they could improve.

Lisa Regan, Assistant Principal for Professional Qualifications at Ron Dearing UTC, said: “It was an extremely valuable week for our Year 13 students and a fantastic opportunity to have industry professionals offering them one-to-one and group advice.

“Being able to promote themselves really well and talk confidently about their own skills and qualities will help our students progress to where they want to be in the future.

“We’re grateful to all of our Founding and Employer Partners for giving up their time to share their wealth of knowledge, experience and professional guidance. It really will make a difference as our students choose their next steps.”

Year 13 student Haitam Amudi, 18, said the workshops were extremely informative and useful.

He said: “Harper Fox Partners gave us an insight into how to write a professional profile and deliver it. They also provided us with a really professional CV template. It was a very valuable experience.”

Fellow Year 13 student Jamie Mears, 18, said: “We found out more about the importance of not over-talking in interviews and sharing our personal achievements, but also asking questions about the company you’re being interviewed for. I found it really helpful.”