Giving something back: Former student Alison Flemming came back to College to talk to students about running their own businesses.
Painting and Decorating professional, successful businesswoman and former Lambeth College student Alison Flemming came along to our Vauxhall Centre this month to offer some advice and encouragement to students keen on being their own boss.
As part of Lambeth College’s Careers Week, Alison gave a talk to a group of learners from our Construction school about the pros and cons of running a business, the potential pitfalls, the help available to young people starting out on their own, preparing a business plan, quality assurance and the need to get as highly qualified as possible.
“You must have very good basic skills such as communication, written and spoken English, Maths and the ability to calculate accurately as well as your excellent craft standards.” She told our learners. “You also need to be a good organiser, be a clean and tidy worker and adhere to all national health and safety standards too.”
Alison left Lambeth College in 2002 with a level 3 qualification in Painting and Decorating. After a short period gaining experience working for another firm, she decided to launch her own business, Aphex Décor Ltd, based in south and central London. She currently employs another ex-Lambeth College student and has worked with a number of others from the College over the past ten years.
Alison with Painting and Decorating students Christine (left) Ivon (top centre) and Temi (right) during Lambeth College's Careers Week in October.
Student Temi Adeyemi, 25 from Deptford, said: “I found Alison’s visit very inspiring. It’s great to see that there is a thriving market out there for up and coming young craftspeople, especially if they are self-employed or contracting.”
Ivon Pereira, 19 from West Dulwich is currently studying a Level 1 in Painting and Decorating. He said: “It’s good to meet someone who has studied the same qualification as yourself and gone on to make a success of the skills they have learnt. I too would like to run a business one day but first I need to get as much experience as I can.”
Christine Hallensleben is a mature student who has returned to college to upgrade her skills and qualifications and to convert her existing art and design talents into something that she can use in an interior design and decorating practice. She said: “I would like to produce murals and patterns on walls and interiors and I want to acquire the essential practical skills before setting out. I have learnt a lot from Alison today.”
Alison went on to say: “Today’s jobs markets are highly competitive. That’s why it pays to be as highly qualified as you can. Good time keeping and punctuality, excellent discipline and a can-do attitude towards your work are essential if you want to succeed. Lambeth College is a great place to start.”