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A Stockport focussed initiative to develop the employability skills of local students has been shortlisted in two categories at the Skills for Business Awards.

Gander, which was launched in November 2015, builds mutually beneficial relationships between businesses, colleges and students. It enables students to sample different experiences from a whole range of employers, and matches supportive companies with colleges and students that meet their specific needs.

The Skills for Business Awards celebrate the outstanding contribution that skills and learning make to businesses across Greater Manchester and Gander have been recognised in both the ‘Collaboration Award’ and ‘Outstanding Innovation’ categories.

Gander was brought about by local businesses Gorvins Solicitors and Clarke Nicklin, who worked with the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, Stockport Council and Stockport Economic Alliance to launch the initiative. In its first few months it has already been hugely successful in matching students with businesses, and businesses with local colleges to deliver work experience placements, mock interviews, careers day presentations and mentoring.

Andrew Deighton, Gander coordinator, commented; “We are absolutely delighted that the hard work and dedication that has been put into getting Gander of the ground has been recognised. In a relatively short space of time we’ve received a huge amount of support from local businesses and education establishments and I’m looking forward to seeing what else we can achieve going forward. We’ve all got our fingers crossed for these awards!”

The Skills for Business Awards take place on 9th June at Lancashire County Cricket Club. If you’d like to find out how you can get involved with Gander visit