collage of photos of stands and students at a careers event

BRIT charity Founder inspires students at Careers and Progression Event

Published: 29th November 2023

Published by City College

We are delighted to have hosted a very successful first careers event of the 23/24 academic year, featuring special guest speaker and BRIT founder Phil Packer.

Our Careers and Progression Event was the first of its kind since the formation of South Hampshire College Group and provided a platform for students to learn about the depth and breadth of work opportunities and career paths available to them beyond college. There were also representatives from five universities present, discussing higher education pathways across different courses.

Over 30 external exhibitors showcased their organisations at the event, representing a rich and diverse range of sectors including Business, Engineering, Healthcare, IT, Beauty and many more. There were also a selection of games for students to get involved in, such as Spin the Wheel and Giant Jenga, in addition to other engaging activities through VR Headsets and photography booths.

One of the highlights of the day was a special talk by Phil Packer, Founder of the British Inspiration Trust (BRIT) charity, who spoke passionately about diversity and inclusion to a capacity audience of almost 70 students.

Phil’s work with the charity dates back to his own experience sustaining spinal cord injuries in 2008, and his subsequent determination to destigmatise mental health, promote wellbeing and increase access to fitness to students and staff in the education system. The marquee initiative of the BRIT Charity is the famous BRIT Challenge, which is designed to raise money for charities through fitness and exercise. The theme for the 2024 BRIT Challenge is ‘24’, with a target of 24 acts of kindness, 24 wellbeing activities and charity fundraising in organisations between the dates of 24th January and 24th March 2024.

Phil Packer commented: “It is a pleasure for me to have the opportunity to spend time with students and staff at and forge a new relationship between South Hampshire College Group and the British Inspiration Trust (BRIT). BRIT exists to support the mental health, fitness, and wellbeing, of young adults, students, and staff, throughout the UK. It has been wonderful to share a little of my own journey around wellbeing and disability inclusion, and to encourage all three colleges to embrace the BRIT Challenge between the 24th January and 24th March 2024.”

Carpentry student Charlie attended the day’s event and said: “It was a very inspiring event, it gave us all an idea of what we can do with our skills in the future. There was such a wide range of employers we could talk to which was fantastic, many of them covered a wide range of roles too. It was good to be able to talk to people 1:1 as well as opposed to just researching online, it gave more insight and we could ask questions.”

Hospitality student Megan shared: “This event was great, there was so much information and loads of employers, there is something for everyone. I like that it includes work experience, apprenticeships and careers as well as university options, which gives me an insight into the skills I need for my future. Everyone was really friendly which helped me chat with everyone there.”

Christian Allen-Kotze, Vice Principal of City College Southampton, said: “This event served as an impactful platform for students to foster connections with both employers and universities. Witnessing students from diverse subjects come together and actively participate was truly inspiring. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to everyone who dedicated their time and energy to be a part of this occasion. Phil Packer's keynote talk was exceptionally enriching, offering invaluable insights and strategies to support well-being, mental health, and resilience, which deeply resonated with our eager students and staff seeking further understanding in these crucial areas.”