Ipswich: Willis forges education links with Ipswich Academy, Ipswich School, Northgate High and UCS

Willis building in Ipswich

Willis building in Ipswich

Willis’s A-level recruitment programme is part of a wider education partnership which, for the 2013-14 academic year will involve 10 schools and college, plus University Campus Suffolk.

Among the institutions also involved are Ipswich Academy, Ipswich School, Northgate High, St Albans, St Joseph’s, Suffolk One and Suffolk New College in Ipswich, plus Kesgrave High, Stowmarket High and King Edward VI in Bury St Edmunds.

In all, the project, overseen by Gary Shoesmith as education liaison director, has seen Willis recruit around 50 young people from the local area over the past two years.

This includes 22 ? 11 each year ? who have joined under the A-level recruitment programme, while about 15 other young people qualified to A-level have also joined the company outside of the scheme, together with a similar number of graduates from UCS.

The A-level recruitment programme will be repeated next year, with the process likely to begin in January.


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Mark Parker, who heads the Willis operation in Ipswich, says he recognises that A-level students achieving straight A grades are still likely to go to university. However, he suggests that for students achieving three C grades, where Willis sets the bar for its recruitment programme, employment could be better choice than higher education.

Senior managers at Willis are, he adds, impressed with the results so far, with one local recruit in Ipswich having already relocated to London and another to the group’s New York office while a third is currently on a placement in India.

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