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High-tech speakerphone donation helps Lubrizol seal new academy partnership with Derby College

Derbyshire firm Lubrizol has helped IT students to learn better during the lockdown by donating high-tech speakerphones to mark the start of a new exciting employer academy tie-in.

The Hazelwood company has given Derby College Group (DCG) 10 free Jabra Pucks to enable students on Digital study programmes to take part in virtual meetings after it agreed to join the college’s growing list of employer academy partners.

The college now works with more than 100 businesses through its Employment and Skills Academies and Employer Academies.

These employer partners share their know-how and skills with students who have set their sights on joining their particular industry, as well as setting them project work, delivering specialist lectures, hosting site visits and offering work placements.

Lubrizol is slightly different because it is offering expertise in IT rather than chemistry or engineering, which, as a supplier of fuel additives and lubricants for the automotive industry, is what it specialises in.

However, Tim Hollingshurst, EMEA Network Manager at Lubrizol, said that it has a wealth of knowledge to share because the high-tech nature of Lubrizol’s business, as well as the company’s global reach, means that it uses IT extensively, in both for research and communications.

And he says everyone at the company is excited about helping DCG to bring through the next generation of IT talent, even if the coronavirus has meant that they have had to rely on digital technology more than they perhaps would have hoped.

He said: “We’re thrilled to have joined Derby College as an employer academy member and we certainly expect the Jabra Pucks to get plenty of good use over the next few months.

“They are the same speakerphones that we use in our virtual conferencing and hopefully they will help to make up for the fact that the lockdown restrictions mean that much of what we are doing to work with students at the moment is being done remotely.

“While this can be frustrating, it is in itself an excellent lesson in how IT has come into its own during the lockdown and an insight for the next generation of the world of work that they will be entering.

“While Lubrizol is not an IT firm, IT is of paramount importance to our company and we hope that through our new partnership, students will be able to understand how their skills will be in demand by all businesses, no matter what industry they’re in.”

Mark Shore, Computer Science and Information Technology teacher at DCG’s Joseph Wright Centre, said: “Lubrizol are a valued Employer Academy partner working collaboratively with the Digital curriculum including the students who are the first on our T-Level study programme.  

"As well as providing valued advice, guidance and industry placement opportunities, we are very grateful for the donation of these Jabra Pucks hands free communication devices.

"These will greatly enhance the students' audio conferencing experience, particularly during the virtual employer engagement which is such an important part of their study programmes."

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