Furness College is launching a new programme helping 14 – 16 year olds achieve nationally recognised vocational qualifications while still at school. The project is funded by Cumbria County Council and participating schools.
The college will open its doors to selected Year 10 pupils who can study at the world-class facilities at the Channelside campus one day a week from September 2019.
They will develop a range of technical skills that are essential for employment and complete a qualification that means they are ready for the next level of study when they leave school.
Courses will be available in construction, hair and beauty, engineering, early years, and public services over a full academic year with a view to continuing through Year 11.
Director of Curriculum (Young People’s Learning) and the College’s safeguarding lead Sue Hannan, who is overseeing the project, said the programme is dedicated to helping fast-track students who want to study practical subjects to progress to careers.
“This programme will give Year 10 students who have an interest in a particular career the chance to really excel and get a step ahead, in particular an apprenticeship.
“It will be a six-hour day to sit alongside the options they are taking at school, with a view to supporting their career aspirations, and gives them an additional choice.
“Those interested can apply through school. We welcome applications from Year 9 students who are interested in the chance to study here with our specialist tutors and excellent facilities.”
Sue added that the programme had been developed by Principal and Chief Executive Andrew Wren with local head teachers as part of the Furness Education Consortium, building on Furness College’s previous experience offering 14 – 19 diplomas.
Dan Barton, Cumbria County Council’s Assistant Director for Education and Skills, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for students who want to pursue their interest in a range of career paths, and to help them develop the skills, knowledge and experience they need for their future studies to achieve their goals.
“As an organisation that benefits from the skills and enthusiasm of over 100 new apprentices every single year, I am pleased that the council is supporting this programme – providing the right opportunities for our young people is key to helping them realise their potential and be successful at whatever it is they wish to do.”
The first groups will start at Channelside in September. There are around 15 places available on each course and there will be a selection process.
The opportunity is open to pupils from the following local schools: Furness Academy, St Bernard’s, Walney, Dowdales, Chetwynde, Ulverston Victoria High School and Millom.
The plan is to dedicate a space at the college as a ‘Schoolzone’ every Friday.
Any Year 9 pupil or parent who is interested should contact their school for further information.