Representatives from firms including John Lewis, Estee Lauder, Toyota and Google attended the official launch of Croydon College’s new employability hub.

Students can visit the hub, which is situated on the ground floor of the main college campus building and cost £30,000 to set up, to search for vacancies, arrange work experience, get careers advice, and receive coaching for interviews.

Its official launch dinner was attended by students, college staff, and seior staff from several major employers, which have agreed to support the hub by for example offering work experience, interview coaching workshops and tours of their offices to learners.

Diners also heard a speech praising the scheme by Stewart Wingate, chief executive of Gatwick Airport.

Level two hospitality and catering student James McGuire, aged 17, said: “All the employability support and guidance will ensure that I am well on my way to becoming a qualified and skilled sous chef. I’m making the right contacts now for my future.”

Caption: Students James McGuire and Ryan Rhagoo, aged 17, at the launch event