OSFC are proud to have been working with Airwalk Reply over the last year to deliver two innovative programmes to our students; The Leadership Academy and The Programming Academy. Airwalk Reply is a leading technology consultancy that specialises in supporting companies in financial services, the public sector and beyond. They work with clients such as HSBC, Mastercard and Lloyds bank to help them ensure that the technology they use keeps them at the forefront of their respective industries.
OSFC students had to apply for places on the programmes which commenced in September 2022. Both of the programmes have predominantly been delivered to students via virtual sessions. Although, students in the Leadership Academy have attended workshops at OSFC delivered by AirWalk Reply staff on How to Manage a Project and What Makes a Good Leader. Students will also come away with qualifications linked to the courses; Entry-Level Python Programmer certification (PCEP) qualification for the programmers and ILM Young Leaders Award for those on the Leadership Academy.
As part of both programmes, students were required to attend a conference day at Reply Head Office in London on Friday 27 January. The day began with a talk from project managers discussing employability skills, followed by a Q&A with four recent graduates who are now working as software developers. The graduates discussed their career pathways and gave our students top tips for making the most of opportunities between the ages of 16 & 25.
The partners of Airwalk then gave a highly inspirational talk about their career journeys and what they are looking for in potential employees. The day concluded with their HR and recruitment team explaining how our students can effectively sell themselves by developing their own personal brand and using LinkedIn as well as the more traditional CV.
Next, Leadership Academy students will put into practice the project management skills and knowledge gained earlier in the course by delivering a project that will benefit their community. They will then complete the ILM Young Leaders Award during the Easter holidays. The Programming Academy students have now completed their course but, alongside the Leadership students, will continue working with a mentor, quarterly, to gain guidance and advice on maximising their competitiveness in applications for university, degree level apprenticeships and the job market.
Kevin Reece, Careers Manager, speaks highly about schemes like these;
“The Leadership & Programming Academies are something special and unique that no other colleges in the North West run, so when AirwalkReply offered to partner with OSFC I jumped at the chance. Our students are learning key employability skills from professionals working with clients such as HSBC and Mastercard. The Academies also allow our students to stand out from the crowd and demonstrate leadership, initiative and enthusiasm when making applications to top universities and degree apprenticeships. I would like to say a massive thank you to the Partners and staff at AirwalkReply for their generous support and making this project happen.”