Marketing academy on the way

ONE of the first academies of marketing and communications in the country is to open in Suffolk next year. West Suffolk College, which already has an Academy of Finance, is extending its involvement with the UK Career Academy Foundation to offer new opportunities for students wanting to build a career in marketing and for employers who wish to develop the skills of their workforce.

ONE of the first academies of marketing and communications in the country is to open in Suffolk next year.

West Suffolk College, which already has an Academy of Finance, is extending its involvement with the UK Career Academy Foundation to offer new opportunities for students wanting to build a career in marketing and for employers who wish to develop the skills of their workforce.

The college is inviting employers from across the county to become involved in the project by helping to plan the curriculum and be part of the employer advisory board by offering internships or becoming business support partners.

Toolbox Marketing, a fast-growing full-service retail marketing solutions agency based just outside Bury St Edmunds, is one of the firms already signed up for the academy's employer advisory board. Account manager Laura Halstead said: “Toolbox Marketing is keen to support future academy students by providing a unique insight into the world of a busy marketing solutions agency.

“We believe the academy will help to raise professional standards, something that we are committed to at Toolbox Marketing.”

Penny Stevens, head of school of business at West Suffolk College, said: “An integral part of an academy students' experience is a six week internship - a critical factor in connecting the 'real world' to classroom study. Internships will take place during the summer vacation in the middle of the two year programme.”

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From September 2007, students will be able to study a range of core and specialist marketing units to make up a BTEC National Diploma Business (Marketing) which equates to 3 A Levels. The courses are designed to meet to academic and industry standards.

Business support partners will support students throughout the programme, and a range of seminars and events will be planned to complement the curriculum.

The West Suffolk College Academy of Marketing is affiliated through the UK Career Academy Foundation.

The recruitment of students has already started. Anyone wishing to apply should call 01284 716333 or write to West Suffolk College, FREEPOST IH2445, Information Centre, Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk, IP33 3BR.

Any employer interested in supporting the UK Career Academy Foundation should contact Linda Monk, course director, on 01284 716316 (email linda.monk@westsuffolk.ac.uk) or Penny Stevens, head of school of business, on 01284 716252 (email penny.stevens@westsuffolk.ac.uk).