Ipswich: Willis employs five sixth form students from Suffolk One

AN insurance giant is banking on youth after taking on five sixth form college students.

Willis, which has a large base in Ipswich, has decided to employ five students following a business mentoring programme with town sixth form centre Suffolk One.

Willis started working with Suffolk One before the college was opened back at the start of 2010.

Over the last two years, the firm has regularly been chatting to business and A-level students at Suffolk One, offering advice, mentoring and work experience.

Willis education liaison director Gary Shoesmith said: “From the outset, Suffolk One was incredibly passionate about working with the local business community and we were keen to support them.”

The recruits have a variety of different educational backgrounds.

Lauren Keyland and Katie Jones were on a one year business enterprise course and both set up small companies as part of the course. Lauren created a jewellery company and Katie sold care products for the elderly. Both agreed that their new careers had increased their confidence and they were keen to progress within Willis.

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The other three, Sam Steele, Tyler Walsh and Kyle Rose, took A-levels. They are now working as insurance claims technicians and account handlers, speaking with clients in various sectors both in the UK and abroad.

Kyle volunteered for several weeks’ work experience before securing his role.

“It’s not easy getting a job so you have to put yourself out there,” he said.

“You need to create a good CV, play to your strengths and work hard – then you have got a chance. I’ve been going down to London a fair bit and when you get off the train at Liverpool Street and see the buzz of London before you - it’s a feeling like no other.”