Honiton Community College enterprise evening

PUBLISHED: 12:29 01 April 2008 | UPDATED: 21:40 15 June 2010

BY the time today's 16-year-olds reach 38 they will have had an average of 14 different jobs. That's the stark message experts gave students at Honiton Community College during an inspiring Enterprise Evening, held last Thursday.

BY the time today's 16-year-olds reach 38 they will have had an average of 14 different jobs.That's the stark message experts gave students at Honiton Community College during an inspiring Enterprise Evening, held last Thursday.The aim of the event, organised by the Blackdown Hills Business Association, was to encourage young people to think about self-employment as an alternative to a nine-to-five career.The benefits and pitfalls of running your own business were explained during a Powerpoint presentation given by Kate Doodson, of Magellan Projects.She explained that job stability is likely to change in the future. Jobs for life will be a thing of the past, she said, with the workforce in Britain competing against highly motivated and skilled workers in China and India.Business Link, Connexions, The Prince's Trust and tax experts were on hand to offer advice.Taking centre stage were local business people, who spoke honestly about real-life experiences.Sarah Noblett, of Caramel, explained how she decided to start her own business after realising she would probably have to move to London to advance her career with Britain's biggest High Street fashion chain.She started her own fashion business in 2005 in a small shop in Honiton, with no staff and no time to take holidays.Today, she has a larger shop in Honiton and a shop in Exmouth. She employs 10 staff and can afford to take days off and holidays.Students also heard from former teacher Richard Whiteside and his wife, Alison, who only last year gave up their day jobs to launch Wildside Education, providing bushcraft parties, survival courses and nature walks.The business is based in Dunkeswell and caters for children, corporate bodies and anybody interested in nature.Yarty Valley Provisions was prominently featured at the event. The business, which started off selling Scotch eggs, is now the producer of cordials sold at 60 outlets across the South West.David Meadows, of Flying Fish Feasts, gave the most entertaining talk of the night, explaining how the world of work abroad came as a shock after a three-year stint at college.When he returned to Britain, he went into business and hasn't looked back since.He said making mistakes had been a factor but that people were always willing to give advice.More than 30 students and parents attended the evening, as did college principal Norman Tyson.Organisers hope to make it a regular event.They said the exercise made self-employment not only believable but, ultimately, achievable.

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