Partnership between One sixth form college in Ipswich and Suffolk IoD reaches fourth anniversary

One sixth form is continuing its links with the IoD - Institute of Directors
Georgie O'Callaghan an

One sixth form is continuing its links with the IoD - Institute of Directors Georgie O'Callaghan and Alex Shipp are alredy involved in business, outside of their education - Credit: Archant

A pioneering link between a Suffolk sixth form college and the Institute of Directors has celebrated its fourth anniversary.

In 2012, a group of students from One in Ipswich were the first 16-to 19-year-olds in the country to be offered membership with the IoD.

One remains the only sixth form in the country to have this partnership, with a total of 14 students having been selected to join the initiative this year following an interview process.

Justin Bareham, a teacher of business and economics at One, said: “We have three strands to activities throughout the year. Firstly, AXA and other large insurance firms will be mentoring the students. Then our senior leadership team will be setting the students a problem to solve.

“Finally, all involved will get to work on a real life business scenario with external companies at the end of the year. In addition to that, everyone will get a host of new experiences via the contacts they make and the experiences they have.”

Jenny Milsom, deputy principal at One, added: “Our job is to provide our students with as many opportunities to achieve great things in terms of education and business. We are naturally delighted to be associated with this unique offering.”

Two of the students who are part of the group have joined the business world already with one of student setting up her own business at the age of 14.

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Georgie O’Callaghan, 17, who lives in Bury St Edmunds, set up Georgie’s Chocolates in 2013. She said, “I go to markets at certain times of the year and Christmas is always a busy time for me.

“Last year I turned over £3,000 and I’m hoping to double that amount in 2016. I thought I would learn more out of setting up my own business opposed to getting a job. I decided to get involved in this IoD project because of the skills I will learn and to better my CV.”

Alex Shipp is working as a business consultant for his mother’s business. The 16 year old from Claydon, said: “It’s mainly my mum’s business. It’s a small café in the community (called The Community Café).

“I go there and give advice. I’m keen to run my own business in the future. If the café business does expand I hope to be a part of that expansion. In terms of the IoD, it is a good opportunity to network. I’ve heard good reviews from other people who have been involved in previous years so I was keen to get involved myself.”