Supporting the Transition from School to Business

On Thursday 19 July, the Hemel Hempstead Business Ambassadors met for their latest inspirational and educational meeting at the perfect venue – Longdean School in Hemel Hempstead.

Both Graham Cunningham, Head Teacher, and Angela Cooke, Head of Careers Education, gave compelling presentations – talking not only about the global challenges faced by teachers and students in 2018, but also those unique to the academy such as location and socioeconomics and the support and measures provided to counteract them.

Michael Huxham, Head of Research and Development, at Smiths Detection gave a fascinating talk about safeguarding society and bringing technology to life from the premises on Maylands Avenue.

Smiths Detection employs over 2,300 people worldwide and the site at Hemel Hempstead makes chemical detection machines – the largest provider to the UK and US armed forces – and manufacturing capabilities for detecting explosives and drugs at airports and ports.

Over 90% of the world’s busiest airports rely on Smiths Detection equipment and their checkpoint screening solutions are in operation in over 40% of the world’s 2,200 airports.

“Retaining staff and continuity was vital when considering new premises,” said Michael Huxham, when the FTSE 100 company relocated from Watford to Century House Hemel Hempstead in September 2016, “and Maylands offered improved working facilities, streamlined efficiencies and improved comfort for our staff.”

Additional speakers included: HR Consultant Ruth George, with information on the inaugural Dacorum Schools Careers Fair to take place at Shendish Manor on Wednesday 24 October; and Mal Brown, the Interim Building Control Team Leader at Dacorum Borough Council – who gave an enlightening presentation on the world of building control and its distinction from planning permission.

Jean McLeish, Chair of the HHBA, concluded the presentations and encouraged the Ambassadors to support Longdean School with their career activities and the Dacorum Schools Career Fair. Jean McLeish said, “We heard from some really interesting speakers this morning, including investment into the area and about the transition from school to business. We are fully supportive of the educational endeavours in the area.”

For further information, visit or contact Gary Stringer, Ambassador Place Manager, on tel: 01442 228808.

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