Making products, making industries, making careers

Nelson and Colne College Group’s Assistant Principal for Technical Curriculum, Morag Davis, joined a panel of local leaders for a discussion on how Lancashire can prepare for the industries and tech of tomorrow, and empower the workforce with the skills to drive them. 

Morag discussed the opportunities that exist for business and academia to come together and some of the innovative solutions being deployed to fill the ongoing skills gap.

She began by sharing Nelson & Colne College Group’s recent Ofsted inspection in which we received Outstanding across the board, in part, as a result of the deep collaboration with local employers at every level.

Adding colour to the picture, Morag explained how the level of engagement with local businesses has led to their input becoming the “backbone of the college’s curriculum,” taking multiple forms from leaders coming into to talk to students to checking on curriculum content, to ensuring training is relevant to sector needs.

On the skills gap, Morag spoke of the significant investment being provided from the UK government, partly because of the ‘Skills Whitepaper’ produced by the Commission for the College of the Future – of which Nelson & Colne College Group’s Principal and CEO, Amanda Melton, was a contributor.

She explained how the college has used this funding to strengthen ties with local employers and develop apprenticeship programs so students can enter real working environments and begin applying their skills immediately.

Giving a real-world example, Morag shared details of the college group’s new, two-year T-Level program, equivalent to three A-Levels in both size and academic rigour.

Technical in nature, she described how T-Level students are soon in the field, acquiring practical skills that simply can’t be refined in purely classroom-based environments.

Moving onto the college’s new Digital Skills Hub, Morag discussed the importance of providing learners with access to quality ICT training and the continuing need for local businesses to collaborate in bringing the venture to a wider audience.

An example she raised was the college’s new mobile VR unit that provides students and companies with immersive experiences for projects such as risk assessments and training.

In concluding her segment, Morag talked of Accrington College’s 2019 amalgamation into the Nelson & Colne College Group. She described the significant investment now going into Accrington College to complement the local skills landscape, covering disciplines as varied as mechanics, nursing, and hair and beauty.  

Moreover, she stressed how important it was to create an ecosystem of training providers, colleges and local businesses so the next generation of skilled workers can be firmly established.

To hear the full discussion, click here: https://www.insidermedia.com/event/made-in-lancashire-breakfast-2022

Nelson and Colne College Group is Outstanding!

Staff and learners within the Nelson and Colne College Group are celebrating after receiving ‘outstanding’ ratings across all three colleges in a new Ofsted inspection.

The group, which comprises Nelson and Colne College, Accrington and Rossendale College and Lancashire Adult Learning, is the first in Lancashire to receive the highest possible Ofsted accolades under the new inspection framework.

The inspection, which took place in March 2022, saw a 10-strong team visit all campuses, talk to staff, students, apprentices, governors and employers.

They identified that ‘learners and apprentices love being learners at the college’ and leaders and management across the group ‘provide a high-quality education through which learners and most apprentices achieve their full potential’.

Nelson and Colne College Group is now the only college in Lancashire to be graded as ‘Outstanding’.

Inspectors identified that ‘learners and apprentices embody the outstanding culture of high standards across all of the college sites. They are passionate and highly motivated about their education and futures. They describe their teachers and trainers as inspirational and knowledgeable’.

They also noted that ‘teachers and trainers create highly supportive, calm learning environments in which learners and most apprentices thrive. Learners rapidly build their confidence and produce work of a very high standard. Apprentices develop substantial new knowledge, skills, and behaviours’.

Speaking of her pride in the report, Principal and CEO of Nelson and Colne College Group Amanda Melton CBE said:

“I am beyond proud to be a part of this extraordinary college group. The work the teachers, trainers and support teams do on a daily basis is all focussed on our learners and their successes and I am just delighted that Ofsted recognised that in their recent visit.”

“Our focus has always been to provide the very best education and training to learners and apprentices across Lancashire and now, after two mergers and a pandemic, Ofsted has recognised us as an ‘Outstanding’ group of colleges.

“This is a phenomenal achievement for Nelson and Colne College Group, given the commitment we have shown to supporting the both Lancashire Adult Learning and Accrington and Rossendale College following the mergers.

“All of the colleges within Nelson and Colne College Group are now outstanding and this is a true testament to the hard work, dedication and talent of all of our staff and students.”

“We hope everyone connected with Nelson and Colne College Group will join us in celebrating this success. The college group has an exciting future ahead and we remain committed to this level of excellence for all our current and future learners, across all of our colleges.”

Nelson and Colne College Group achieved the following results in the inspection between 15 & 18 March 2022:

Overall effectiveness: Outstanding

The quality of education – Outstanding

Behaviour and attitudes – Outstanding

Personal development – Outstanding

Leadership and management – Outstanding

Education programmes for young people – Outstanding

Adult learning programmes – Outstanding

Apprenticeships – Good

Provision for learners with high needs – Outstanding

The full Ofsted report can be found by clicking here.

Virtual Reality and Immersive Experiences – coming to a venue near you!

Following significant funding * two state-of-the-art, low carbon Virtual Reality (VR) hubs will soon be available at both Accrington and Rossendale College and Nelson and Colne College!

As well as a mobile VR unit that can be taken direct to local businesses, schools, events and roadshows!

What are they?
  • 2 x 6m diameter VR cylinders (at each college campus) to offer a totally immersive experience
  • 1 x mobile 3 x 3m VR cube that can be transported to local businesses, schools and events

These exciting new VR facilities have been developed in partnership with employers and skills providers to address the future skills required by industry to tackle the low carbon agenda.

Who is it for?

With wraparound sound and vision, our VR facilities will offer an immersive experience – able to recreate realistic scenarios, training and education both on and off site.

Our College Students – VR will be at the centre of course development and embedded within every curriculum area. Thus, ensuring that digital skills are at the forefront of all educational programmes and that the college is addressing the needs of industry regarding ‘future skills’.

Local Business and Employers – will be able to book the VR hubs and mobile VR unit to deliver:

  • remote presentations
  • virtual design reviews
  • general communication with stakeholders, suppliers and customers
  • teaching, training and demonstrations
  • risk assessments / building walk-throughs
  • dangerous / high risk scenarios for training purposes.

Local Schools – will be able to use the VR hub and the mobile VR unit for curriculum delivery, virtual field trips and special events.

How can you use the VR facilities?

The cylinders and the cube are all equipped with Igloo Enterprise software. Each facility can display anything on the internet into the VR space so there’s a wealth of content available, or you can get stuck in creating your own content. For example:

Igloo Web

  • Allows you to access a whole library of existing 360° videos via YouTube
  • Your familiar web-based tools like Microsoft 365 can be accessed too – so you can work with the apps you already use, across a vast wraparound canvas

Igloo Capture

  • Show any kind of content on the cylinder or cube screens, and tile them with up to 12 channels of different content – so you can build dashboards quickly and easily from scratch
  • As well as 360° videos or images, you can show traditional formats or even files such as PDFs, and overlay them a wraparound background
  • And you can share screens from devices to the screen, so that anyone can quickly and easily collaborate within the space, whatever they’re working on

Igloo Realtime

  • As well as images and videos, work with game engine and visualisation content, built using apps such as Unity and Unreal
  • Content designed for virtual reality headsets can be shown inside the VR hubs too – and it can be shared with whole groups at once
  • A whole range of apps and software used in industry can be used inside the hubs, including visualisation tools for construction and engineering, simulation tools for training health and safety, and much more.
How can it benefit you?

Reduces your costs – VR avoids expensive real-life training scenarios and expensive trips to faraway locations

Enhances collaboration – VR means your entire teams / groups of students can interact with any scenario

Increases engagement – VR provides a [recreated] authentic experience

Improves safety – VR allows you to carry our activities / training without having to travel

Coming April 2022 …

College staff (at both the Accrington and Nelson campuses) will now be given access to expert advice, support and training to ensure these exciting VR facilities will make a huge difference to what students and employees can learn, do and explore.

Teaching and training will never be the same again … watch this space

Want to see a demonstration? WATCH HERE.

 

GET IN TOUCH.

If you think you could benefit from and use VR for your business or education facilities, contact: employers@nelsongroup.ac.uk

VR Facilities – at Accrington and Rossendale College will be available to book from mid-April 2022.

VR Facilities – at Nelson and Colne College will be available to book from Summer 2022.

Mobile VR Cube – will be available to book from mid-April 2022.  Note: assembly requires approx. 4 hours by a member of the college team.

 

* The funding for these initiatives has been provided from a government Skills Development Fund designed to support the move to greener technologies.

 

College Group makes major investment in EV technology

Nelson and Colne College Group is investing almost a quarter of a million pounds in new equipment to train motor vehicle technicians and engineers in the latest electric vehicle (EV) technologies. 

The new facilities at the Accrington and Rossendale College campus will cover the servicing and maintenance of EVs, battery fault diagnosis and repair, electric motor technologies, and the installation of charging equipment.

Once the equipment is in place (early 2022), students at Accrington and Rossendale College will get the opportunity to work on electric vehicles, from EV battery faults to the installation of charging facilities.

The funding for this initiative has been provided from a government Skills Development Fund designed to support the move to greener technologies. Led by Blackburn College, the project will create five electric and hybrid vehicle skills centres across Lancashire at Blackburn College, Nelson and Colne College Group, Blackpool and the Fylde College, Lancaster and Morecambe College and Myerscough College.

Dr Steve Wright, EV project leader, said:

“I’m delighted to see the College making such a significant investment in this field.

“The roll-out of electric vehicles is crucial to meeting our country’s climate obligations and it’s vital that the technicians working with these new vehicles and their charging systems, are up to date and ready for the challenges of the next era of motoring.

“We’ll be using the new equipment to make sure that all of our motor vehicle students have experience of working with EVs. 

“Some of the new resources are very specialist and beyond the reach of smaller businesses.  We’ll be making them available to local employers to upskill their staff if they wish to.”

The new facilities build on existing equipment already in operation at Accrington and Rossendale College and Nelson and Colne College.

Find information on Motor Vehicle Courses available at Accrington and Rossendale College here.

 

Accrington and Rossendale College investment in Electric Vehicle (EV) technology
Vehicle Maintenance and Repair L2 students with Motor Engineering Lecturer at Accrington and Rossendale College’s fantastic workshop facilities

Picture shows: Vehicle Maintenance and Repair L2 students Oliver Law and Byron Carney with Motor Engineering Lecturer Martin Brunker, at Accrington and Rossendale College’s fantastic workshop facilities.

New Chair and Vice Chair for Nelson and Colne College Group’s Board of Corporation steering the Colleges on to further success

Nelson and Colne College Group bids a fond farewell to current Chair of the Corporation Stephen Barnes as he retires from the College Group’s Board after more than 20 years of celebrated service, and welcomes a new Chair, Phil Wilkinson and new Vice Chair Emma Schofield.

The new appointments of Phil and Emma, who are already established members of the Board, further enhances the College Group’s governance bringing a wealth of experience, professional strength and skills from different industry sectors and will continue the strong strategic leadership that Stephen has shown over the years.

Emma Schofield is Deputy Director of Human Resources (HR) and Organisation Development at the East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust and is currently the Safeguarding Lead on the Board of Corporation.

Phil Wilkinson, currently Vice Chair of the Corporation, begins as Chair in February, and is Chief Executive Officer of Ascentis.

Phil said “I am immensely proud to take on this position playing such an important role in the lives of all the learners and wider communities that we serve as the College Group. As, consistently, one of the highest achieving colleges in the country we are dedicated to enriching the education and experiences of all we work with, at all levels. Using the knowledge and experience gained from my established background in Further Education I can honestly say we haven’t been in a better position to positively influence the lives of so many across Lancashire, and particularly across East Lancashire.

“Stephen will be sorely missed, and has made a significant and lasting contribution to the College throughout his time on the Board. Through his College role he has made a hugely positive and lasting contribution to and impact on Pendle, which will continue long after he retires from the College Board. I look forward to becoming Chair in February and building upon all his good work supporting the Board to steer the College on to further success as we move forward.”

Stephen joined the Board of Nelson and Colne College when he was Chief Executive of Pendle Borough Council. As Corporation Chair, he has led the Board and College through key investment and growth opportunities such as the Lancashire Adult Learning and Accrington and Rossendale College mergers and the ambitious £3.5m Capital Investment Programme continuing to transform the Accrington and Rossendale College campus. An investment to support the College Group to continue to thrive that in turn could increase students attending by up to 15%.

Speaking of his retirement, Stephen said “I am immensely proud of all the phenomenal things the College Group has achieved for our learners, businesses and communities we serve, and for my part in that story. I know the unfaltering commitment and drive to support all students to achieve their very best will continue, with the Group’s senior team, teachers and support staff.”

Find out more about Governance at Nelson and Colne College Group.

January 2022

Accrington and Rossendale College celebrates star students and 100% Advanced Vocational pass rate on Results Day 2021

Students from Accrington and Rossendale College are celebrating an outstanding 100% Advanced Vocational pass rate this Results Day 2021.

Many are now ready to progress onto some exciting and career-focused destinations, including university, Apprenticeships and employment opportunities.

Centre Principal for Accrington and Rossendale College Morag Davis said: “I would like to congratulate the Class of 2021 at Accrington and Rossendale College on their achievements at the end of a challenging academic year.

“We are seeing students progress onto a wide range of positive destinations, including university, Apprenticeships and employment, and we wish them every success in the future.”

Level 3 Sports Student Becky Holden from Haslingden High, 18, is progressing onto Liverpool John Moores University to study Sport Psychology as she pursues a career as a Sports Psychologist.

She said: “I enjoyed my time at College as the tutors are so supportive and are always there to help if you need it, no matter what it is.

“College was definitely more independent which was perfect for me as it allowed me to work more efficiently and the standard of my work was also significantly better.

“I would recommend Accrington and Rossendale College as it provides students with a wide range of great opportunities. The support you get from the tutors is amazing and they always push you to achieve you best.”

Students looking to study at Accrington and Rossendale College this September can visit the College on its enrolment days – Thursday 12th August, 10am-7pm, and Friday 13th August, 10am-4pm.

Nelson and Colne College celebrates extraordinary results following an extraordinary year

Results Day may fall on a different day in 2021, but there is no change in the outstanding results and positive destinations of students who have achieved extraordinary grades at Nelson and Colne College.

The College – one of the leading colleges nationally across a range of academic measures – has recorded an A Level pass rate of 100% in 2021.

This means the College will gain an ALPs 1 score which measures progress made, the best possible outcome, and this will place it among the very highest schools and colleges in the country. Nelson and Colne College already has the status of being the number one FE College in the country for A Level progress.

The College has also recorded a fantastic 100%* Advanced Vocational pass rate.

At A Level, the overall pass rates show 35.3% achieving A*-A grades,  66.6% high A*-B grades, and 85.6% A*-C. Broken down further, this shows:

Percentage of students who received at least one A*-C = 97%
Percentage of students who received at least one A*-B = 86.5%
Percentage of students who received at least one A*-A = 55.5%

Once again, the College is seeing students progress to some of the top universities in the country, including Imperial College London, the University of Manchester, the University of Leeds, the University of Liverpool and the University of Edinburgh, while other students have successfully gained Apprenticeships and employment.

Principal of Nelson and Colne College Group Amanda Melton said: “I am absolutely delighted for our students. They have worked so hard in such challenging circumstances and it is great to see them achieve the results they deserve.

I would also like to thank our phenomenal tutors who have worked tirelessly, in an unprecedented year, to support our students to achieve their very best.

This hard work and dedication of both staff and students has paid off as we celebrate yet another year of exceptional results.”

Fionnuala Swann, Assistant Principal for Academic Studies at the College said: ‘We couldn’t be prouder of our students’ achievements. They have worked so hard, and it is wonderful to see them secure their dream places at university and other exciting destinations. We wish them all the best for their next steps – congratulations to the Class of 2021!”

Grace McWilliam, formerly of Bacup and Rawtenstall Grammar School, achieved A, A*, A* in her A Levels in Government and Politics, Philosophy Ethics and Religion, and Sociology. Grace will now progress onto the University of York to study Social and Political Sciences.

Grace, 18, said: “I have genuinely loved completing my A Levels at Nelson and Colne College and I cannot credit the Social Sciences department enough for instilling a lifelong love of philosophy, sociology and politics within me. Their endless encouragement and support has contributed to my ever-growing reading list.

“Classes are enjoyable, staff are extremely encouraging within classroom discussion, and assignments are relevant and returned promptly with detailed feedback.

“My teachers have shown genuine passion for the content which is infectious as a student and I think the department is unmatched in its subject material, revision resources and teaching staff.”

Jiya Mahmood, 19, formerly of Ss John Fisher and Thomas More RC High School achieved Triple Distinction* in her Level 3 Extended diploma in Science. Jiya is now progressing to Keele University to study Forensic Science and Human Biology.

Jiya said: “Studying at an accepting College that supports you in every aspect of your journey has really brought out the best in me. I have made new friends, it has helped secure amazing grades, and it has enabled me to pursue my passion for Forensic Science.

“Nelson and Colne College provides students with many opportunities – I have done the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and the Police Cadets, I’ve volunteered with the police and completed relevant work experience to my course. I also supported the Science department on open evenings, and would highly recommend studying here to others.”

Nelson and Colne College is one of the leading colleges nationally across a range of academic measures – 16-18 classroom learner achievement, 16-18 Advanced Apprenticeship timely achievement, A Level progress and GCSE Mathematics and English progress.

Nelson and Colne College is also the number one college in the country for student satisfaction.

Students looking to study at Nelson and Colne College this September can visit the College on its enrolment days – Thursday 12th August, 10am-7pm, and Friday 13th August, 10am-4pm.

Partnership with Burnley FC in the Community expands to Higher Education

The strength of Nelson and Colne College Group’s partnership with Burnley FC in the Community has been taken to another level through a new university level qualification.

A new Level 4 CertHE course in Sport Coaching and Performance is being offered to adult students in East Lancashire and beyond from September 2021 who are seeking to break into the industry.

Offered in partnership between the College Group’s University Centre and Burnley FC in the Community, the qualification is awarded by Liverpool John Moores University – a top 10 university in the country for Sports Science courses.

The qualification can be achieved as a standalone Level 4 qualification, enabling a first step into the field of Sport Coaching and Performance, but can equally lead on to the full BSc (Hons) Sport Coaching and Performance degree offered by the University Centre.

Successful partnership

Already renowned for delivery of the hugely successful Burnley FC Shadow Youth Team and Girls’ Post-16 Academy for 16-18-year-old students, as well as delivery of courses to support adults through Lancashire Adult Learning, this is the first time a university level qualification has been delivered through the College Group’s partnership with Burnley FC in the Community.

Benefits to learners include completion of the FA Level 1 Coaching Award, participation in the National Football Youth League Under-19s and 23s Football Youth League, football training session three times a week, including strength and conditioning sessions, and match analysis.

Burnley Football Club training kit and match day kit will be provided and wide-ranging active work experience with Burnley FC in the Community will be offered as part of the qualification.

This could include shadowing coaches delivering on numerous projects and community activities including disability sport, walking football, health provision, the community kitchen, school provision, and more.

Exciting development

Charlotte Scheffmann, Dean of Higher Education at Nelson and Colne College Group University Centre said: “Our new Level 4 qualification in Sport Coaching and Performance is an incredibly exciting development in our partnership with Burnley FC in the Community.

“Our partnership is already renowned for its outstanding quality and results, and a development into the world of Higher Education was a natural step for its expansion.

“The qualification we are offering is a fantastic blend of academic study with real-world experience, and this will support the progression of people into careers in a strong sector that contributes almost £24bn to the UK economy and supports almost one million jobs.”

New qualification

Dr. Sara Ward, Chief Executive Officer of Burnley FC in the Community said: “We are delighted to strengthen our partnership with the Nelson and Colne College Group by offering the new Level 4 qualification in Sport Coaching and Performance.

“The partnership is integral to our Education and Football Development offering, with the flagship Shadow Youth Team and Girls’ Post-16 Academy, engaging over 100 young people every year. Feedback from students and staff alike, has been positive and there is a real appetite for further learning.

“Through the exciting development of a university level qualification, I look forward to being able to offer more young people the opportunity to study in this area, ensuring they are equipped with the valuable skills to go on and succeed in the sport industry.”

Advice events

Adults looking to study HE flexibly, affordably and locally will have the chance to speak in-person to the University Centre’s expert teaching teams during Adult and HE Advice Events.

The first of these will take place at Accrington and Rossendale College on Wednesday 30 June, from 4pm until 7.30pm. The second, will take place on Monday 5 July at Nelson and Colne College, from 4pm until 7.30pm. These are appointment only events and can be booked on the website: universitycentre.nelsongroup.ac.uk/event/higher-education-advice-events/

The full range of new courses offered by Nelson and Colne College Group University Centre can be explored through a new University Centre website at universitycentre.nelsongroup.ac.uk/.

The site includes a new selection of downloadable sector guides, as well as student success stories and personal profiles of the University Centre’s industry expert tutors, and information about studying Higher Education with the University Centre.

To find out more about the new University Centre offer, you can contact the Higher Education team at the University Centre by emailing he@nelsongroup.ac.uk or by calling 01254 354047.

New HE partnership with Liverpool John Moores University

East Lancashire’s Higher Education offer has been significantly boosted with the launch of a new partnership between Nelson and Colne College Group University Centre and Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU).

A first-of-its-kind partnership, it marries up the outstanding reputations that the respective institutions have for educational quality in the spheres of Further Education and Higher Education.

Employers in East Lancashire can benefit from the partnership as its terms mean that the University Centre has greater freedom to respond to market trends and economic changes by delivering new courses validated by LJMU as the degree awarding university. 

This means that employers seeking to support their staff to upskill can do so with the University Centre with confidence as the course content is aligned to local skills needs.

Flexible delivery by the University Centre also means that adult students have a range of study options and can achieve the equivalent of a degree level qualification in a month of study days across an academic year, reducing time out of the workplace.

Students studying HE with the University Centre will also benefit from the partnership by being able to access a wide range of LJMU resources to support their studies.

The partnership has been announced as the University Centre launches a new offer of high quality university level provision on the doorstep of East Lancashire – qualifications that are relevant to current and future economic needs of the region, and include a theme of sustainability running through the spine of the offer.

Delivery of these will take place at either the Nelson and Colne College University Centre or the Accrington and Rossendale College University Centre. Courses offered with the approval of LJMU from September 2021 cover Business, Law and Finance; Computing; Construction; Engineering; Health and Social Sciences; and Sport.

Charlotte Scheffmann, Dean of Higher Education at Nelson and Colne College Group University Centre said: “The new partnership is one that is built on mutual trust and reputational respect, providing a Higher Education offer which is designed to support employers in East Lancashire.

“Not only does Liverpool John Moores University have the confidence in us to deliver high quality and impactful Higher Education in their name, LJMU also have the faith in our experienced HE team to grant us the potential to quickly provide qualifications in response to trends and changes in our economy locally and regionally.

“That assurance is transformational and means that we can support employers by addressing skills gaps and creating opportunities where there is demand for jobs.”

Peter Byers, Pro-Vice-Chancellor of LJMU, welcomes the partnership. He said: “Our mission is to transform lives through education and create opportunities for communities.

“This partnership between Liverpool John Moores University and the Nelson and Colne College Group means we can, together, create quality and impactful learning which will connect students directly to job opportunities in their area. All of which is backed by LJMU’s research expertise.”

Adults looking to study HE flexibly, affordably and locally will have the chance to speak in-person to the University Centre’s expert teaching teams during Adult and HE Advice Events.

The first of these will take place at Accrington and Rossendale College on Wednesday 30 June, from 4.30pm until 7.30pm. The second, will take place on Monday 5 July at Nelson and Colne College, from 4.30pm until 7.30pm. These are appointment only events and can be booked on the website: universitycentre.nelsongroup.ac.uk/event/higher-education-advice-events/

The full range of new courses offered by Nelson and Colne College Group University Centre can be explored through a new University Centre website at universitycentre.nelsongroup.ac.uk/.

The site includes a new selection of downloadable sector guides, as well as student success stories and personal profiles of the University Centre’s industry expert tutors, and information about studying Higher Education with the University Centre.

To find out more about the new University Centre offer, you can contact the Higher Education team at the University Centre by emailing he@nelsongroup.ac.uk or by calling 01254 354047.

College Apprentices thriving in Painting and Decorating positions with Bell Group

Two female Painting and Decorating Apprentices from Nelson and Colne College Group are thriving in their roles after securing Apprenticeships with the country’s largest commercial decorators.

Faye Chester and Kelsey Whewell, both 18, are working for Bell Group and gained their respective Apprenticeship positions after each enjoying a successful two-week work placement with the company in the autumn.

The duo have been out on the road with their Bell Group colleagues this winter putting their skills into practice working on a range of jobs in all weathers.

Faye and Kelsey were also happy to take time out of their busy working schedules to support Nelson and Colne College Group’s National Apprenticeship Week 2021 celebrations, and would recommend Apprenticeships to other would-be future tradespeople.

This year’s theme for National Apprenticeship Week is ‘Build the Future’, with a focus on how employers across the country train, retain and achieve with Apprenticeships.

Faye, formerly of Shuttleworth College, said: “Art was my best subject at school. I loved painting and being creative, it is something I was naturally good at, so that is why I went down the route of Painting and Decorating.

“The Apprenticeship has been really good – I like the responsibility of being an employee and working in a team. My confidence and communication has also improved through it, and I would recommend the Apprenticeship route to others who are looking to go into a trade in the future.”

Kelsey, formerly of Accrington Academy, said: “I chose Painting and Decorating because I like doing it, and when I first visited College, I found the department really good and the environment was friendly.

“It’s a great feeling to have secured an Apprenticeship with a good company and I have enjoyed working on the exteriors of houses. With an Apprenticeship, you’re earning and learning at the same time, so I would recommend them as a way of developing your skills and your future career.”

Julie Lawrenson, National Training Manager for Bell Group, said: “We’ve been really impressed with the progression of Faye and Kelsey. Working outside throughout the winter, and of course in the middle of a pandemic, they really have got stuck in, have fitted well into the team at Bell Group, and have shown excellent application on the jobs they have been assigned.

“We’ve developed a very good working relationship with the College Group’s Construction team too, who provide great support to Faye and Kelsey’s knowledge and skills development on their College days once a week.

“It’s fantastic to celebrate National Apprenticeship Week together – as retaining Apprentices within Bell Group is important for our business. We have many examples of Apprentices that have progressed into middle and senior management roles within the company, and we have that aspiration for Faye and Kelsey too when they come to the end of their Apprenticeships.”

Alison Rushton, Vice Principal of Nelson and Colne College Group, said: “We’re delighted to be working with Bell Group, who offer a range of high-quality Apprenticeship opportunities that our students can benefit from.

“Here at Nelson and Colne College Group, we believe that Apprentices are going to play a vital role in the economic recovery, and our focus on the power of three – a successful synergy between Apprentice, employer and the College – ensures that we are best placed to support businesses and organisations to meet their goals.

“It is fantastic to see Faye and Kelsey are doing exactly that and are thriving in their new roles with Bell Group – something worth celebrating this National Apprenticeship Week.”

Following the extension of the employer incentive by the Government, employers who take on a new Apprentice before 31 March 2021 could receive up to £3,000 in total.

The benefits of Apprenticeships include earning a salary, training in the skills employers want, and excellent progression opportunities. There is also increased future earning potential, learning is done at a pace suited to the Apprentice, and Apprentices have the support of a mentor.

Nelson and Colne College Group offers Apprenticeships across a wide range of sectors and is number one in Lancashire for 16-18 Advanced Apprenticeship timely achievement, according to the latest Government data.

It is also number one in the county for employer satisfaction, based on the latest FE Choices Employer Survey.

For more information about Apprenticeships with Nelson and Colne College Group, please contact the Apprenticeship Team today at: apprenticeships@nelsongroup.ac.uk

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