Canon UK empowers young people with Employability Skills Programme at Knox Academy

United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland – 24th April 2017 – Canon UK, a leader in imaging solutions, has formed an innovative partnership with Knox academy, a top fifty educational institute, to deliver a series of employability skills masterclasses. The masterclasses aim to inspire and empower students with insights into the world of work and the experience of working with an international technology brand.

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The skills masterclasses took place over a thirteen-week Employability Programme, where some of the Knox Academy’s 750 pupils attended seminars run by Canon UK’s Managing Director, Stephen Bates and Canon’s wider Human Resources and Sustainability team. Over this period, Canon taught students how to refine transferable employability skills to prepare for the world of work, with CV presentations, job interview preparation and lessons on leveraging social media to showcase themselves to prospective employers.

The programme also saw the launch of ‘Knox Idol’, a competition where teams of students presented the ‘School of the Future’ to Stephen Bates and Angela Leitch, East Lothian Council’s Chief Executive. The winning team recognised the need for improved accessibility and monitoring, through developing multiple apps that links pupils to online coursework, monitor performance and help parents see how their children are doing. They were awarded a tour of Canon UK’s HQ, additional onsite training. Knox Idol is now becoming an annual event.

Sarah Ingham, Knox Academy’s Head Teacher said, “This is a genuine partnership in which Canon supports Knox Academy on multiple levels. We are very aligned, despite being in different sectors. I'm so grateful for the time that Canon executives and staff took to come and support us. They are playing a huge role in helping our youngsters travel towards a positive destination in their careers."

Stephen Bates, Managing Director of Canon UK said, "It's been an honour to work with the bright young people at Knox Academy and I'm sincerely looking forward to continue our partnership in the future. It’s been a great way for students to gain experience and learn the skills required to go out and get the roles they deserve. Our work with Knox Academy is in line with Canon’s aim to continue to support young and talented people to reach their full potential, which sits in tandem with our company ethos, Kyosei, living and working together for the common good. We hope the programme will continue to empower young people to go after their ambitions with no fear."

In recognition of the success of the Knox Academy partnership, Canon received ‘Highly Commended’ for the best company for youth engagement at the Midlothian & East Lothian Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards 2016.

The partnership has also inspired Canon to roll the scheme out to nearby schools, Ross High School and Dunbar Grammar School, with a view to taking it nationwide; aimed at continuing to support the readiness of as many young people as possible for the world of work.