G4S Partnership: Meet former Highlands student Sophie Boxall

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Sophie Boxall, Commercial Business FM Manager at G4S Secure Solutions (Jersey) Limited

In June this year, we were delighted to announce a business partnership with G4S Secure Solutions (Jersey) Ltd. They are proud sponsors of our Sixth Form College and we are working together to find new ways of nurturing local talent, tackling the ongoing challenge of skills shortages in the Island and providing career opportunities for pupils.

G4S employs 800 staff in the Channel Islands. Many G4S Jersey personnel, including members of the senior management team, are Highlands Alumni. They have benefited from the broad range of learning opportunities we provide to students of all ages. Over the coming months, we’ll be profiling some of the G4S team as they recall their Highlands College experience.

First up, we had a great chat to Sophie Boxall, their Commercial Business FM Manager. Sophie relocated to the Island in 2007 and took up an Administrator post with G4S locally. She thrived in the role and was quickly promoted to Assistant Administration Manager. Having not worked in this field before, she became interested in the numbers side of the role and was keen to develop her skills in financial management. Without further education qualifications and armed with a desire to enhance her CV, Highlands College presented the solution. Supported by G4S, Sophie undertook the Certified Accountancy Technician Course papers 1, 2 and 4 over two years.

Companionship as well as learning
“I’d returned to Jersey with young kids and was in effect starting again with my career in my 30s”, Sophie explains. “Highlands College was a brilliant solution for me. Not only did it make studying accessible, but it was also really companionable. The classes put me in contact with like-minded people I would never otherwise have met and over the two years we forged some strong connections. You’re in it together, sharing your successes and supporting each other through the challenges.”

With you on your journey of career progression
Giving Sophie the confidence and knowledge to develop her career, she has gone on to hold numerous positions with G4S. The company provides excellent career progression opportunities and Sophie has held increasingly senior positions in Administration, Physical Contracts, Hard Services, Small Works and Facilities Management. Sophie now sits on the Senior Management Team with responsibility across the Channel Islands for multiple departments. This level of seniority has presented fresh learning challenges and Sophie is now studying for her Chartered Institute of Management Accountants. Although she is learning direct and online with the Institute, Highlands College provides accredited exam centre services for her to complete her qualifications.

Why is Highlands good for Jersey?
Sophie is a huge advocate of Highlands College and is keen to recommend it to anyone considering higher education, at any stage in their career and personal development. “Highlands is excellent for Jersey because it makes studying more accessible. As well as learning, you also build invaluable networks of contacts and friends. It’s really important for the Island to have the ability to train and retain our talent and to develop a curriculum that can help overcome the skills gaps that exist. The College is a great environment for learning. I have only ever had a very positive experience and everyone I’ve come into contact with has been supportive, friendly and professional.”