A company boss who made headlines after venting frustration at a lack of quality job applicants took part in a Q&A session with students.

Ryan Irving participated in the Zoom session with Year 12 students at Budmouth Academy in Chickerell.

The students are studying for an Aspirations Employability Diploma (AED), which will equip them with the skills employers are looking for to help them thrive in the workplace.

Claire Hughes, AED lead at Budmouth, set up the session with Mr Irving after reading his criticism of the applicants who responded to his job ad for an intern with a salary of £12,000.

Mr Irving, who owns web design company Ri Web based in Henley-on-Thames, was appalled to discover only six of the 183 applicants followed his simple instructions.

Mrs Hughes thought her students would benefit from speaking to Mr Irving to help them succeed when applying for jobs.

He said he was left hopeful by his session with the students: "I was first of all impressed that students of that age were investing time into their professional development.

"It was something I didn’t have when I was younger and I was very impressed with what they were doing. They were engaged, asked some good questions and had taken the time to come and listen to me speak.

"A course like this [the AED] is really useful because it serves as a guide for them to focus on what they want to do moving forward."

Budmouth student Lex Ackerman said she found the session with Mr Irving motivating and inspiring.

She said: "It was good to hear how much effort his firm put in throughout covid and how things have changed due to the pandemic.

"He came across as a really caring employer and the type of person I would like to work with in the future, as well as raising my employer standards.

"He definitely got me thinking about my career and has rekindled my interest in web design."

The key aim of the Aspirations Employability Diploma is to equip students with the attributes needed to thrive in the workplace.

Creativity, teamwork, problem-solving and communication are skills they acquire during the real-world projects they are involved in.

Question and answer sessions with guest speakers also provide valuable insight into the world of work.