We are pleased to be able to offer a number of course modules to adults for free, as part of the government’s Lifetime Skills Guarantee scheme, enabling adults to retrain, upskill or make a career change. The offer is backed by £95 million from the £2.5 billion National Skills Fund, which is financing programmes that both support the immediate economic recovery from the pandemic and help meet future skills needs.
We are offering a range of subjects including Childcare, Healthcare, Science and Computing. The courses will be available across our three campuses in Aylesbury, Wycombe and Amersham with many starting as soon as May 2021. Adults are able to study one module at a time, making the completion of a full Level 3 qualification manageable around other commitments. A Level 3 qualification is the equivalent to A Levels and is seen by many as the key element for retraining or advancement in their career.
Speaking about the Lifetime Skills Guarantee, Gavin Williamson MP, Education Secretary said "As we recover from the pandemic, we are focussed on making sure that individuals and businesses can build back better than before.
Throughout our lives we may all need to boost our skills, or gain new ones. These free qualifications will help open doors to better employment opportunities for thousands of adults and support businesses to access the workforce they need to grow.
Our new Lifetime Skills Guarantee promises to help you get the skills you need at every stage of your life. I’d urge all those eligible to see what course they can take from spring next year and start thinking about their next steps."
The Prime Minister Boris Johnson said “My message is clear. At every stage of your life, we will help you get the skills you need to train, retrain, and get into jobs you want and our economy needs”.
The College is able to offer these opportunities to those aged 19 years or older who have not already achieved a Level 3 qualification, with more information available at www.buckscollegegroup.ac.uk/lifetime
This year has been different for us at Bucks College Group in more ways than one.
Over the last few months at home, virtual classes and meetings have become a staple for all of us, a virtual Higher Education fair was however a first.
Six colleges have worked together this lockdown to ensure their students don’t miss out on any work experience opportunities during these times. Over one thousand 16-18-year olds took part in the virtual work experience programme funded by the Department for Education (DFE), starting on 22 February 2021. Young people received online webinars to demonstrate the latest technologies in their business sectors and show them best practice from Top employers.
A Welcome Webinar for the students and their teachers, hosted by Springpod and Heathrow kicked off the work experience programme at the start of National Apprenticeships Week 2021 – Monday, 8 February. Funded through the DfE College Collaboration Fund, Springpod began developing the online solution to provide virtual work experience in September 2020.
There was a number of different airport-based employers who took part, known collectively as ‘Team Heathrow’. These employers are from diverse sectors such as engineering, construction, marketing, IT and business solutions.
The Team Heathrow employers demonstrated how they work together to ensure the smooth running of the UK’s hub airport, as well as showing some of the key roles in their sector and the skills needed to succeed.
Poorvi Patel, Head of Education, Employment & Skills at Heathrow, said: “COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on young people. That’s why we are proud to be working with our Team Heathrow partners to develop a high-quality virtual work experience programme for young people keen to learn more about a career in aviation. The programme will enable students to develop their employability skills, fuel their ambitions and gain an insight into the UK’s only hub airport. The new programme will help to support local communities affected by the pandemic – one of the key commitments set out in the Heathrow Local Economic Recovery Plan.”
Springpod developed the online platform for the project and enabled the work experience students to watch videos and take part in a whole host of interactive webinars and quizzes, relating to construction, engineering, business, marketing, sustainability and IT. Harriet Menzel, Senior Strategic Account Manager at Springpod said of the specially designed online platform:”The colleges’ students will be able to use the virtual work experience programmes and the Springpod platform to gain meaningful insights into their chosen industry and engage with employers like never before. It’s a fantastic opportunity for students in a time where options are limited, and Springpod has loved being part of the project.”
The six colleges that took part in the innovative and inspirational work experience programme are Buckinghamshire College Group, Brooklands College, West London College, the Windsor Forest Colleges Group, West Thames College and HCUC (Harrow and Uxbridge College). Richard Kirkham Executive Director for Buckinghamshire College Group, said " This opportunity will grow our virtual placement opportunities into new sectors in partnership with Heathrow , providing excellent experiences for our students."
The project is funded by the DfE College Collaboration Fund, designed to enable colleges to work together to share good practice and to address common priorities.
Recently, Buckinghamshire College Group applied to be part of Michelmersh’s Pledge 100 annual brick giveaway.
To conclude National Apprenticeships Week 2021, Member of Parliament for Aylesbury, Rob Butler joined a roundtable meeting with a group of Buckinghamshire College Group Apprentices. The meeting took place virtually on Friday 12th February and was a lively and interactive discussion.
Buckinghamshire College Group is planning to develop a town centre site in High Wycombe to create a modern, purpose-built campus for technical, professional and vocational skills, education and training.
On 11th January, 64 Level 2 and 3 Public Services students had the opportunity to join a webinar with Commander Lawrence Whitelock of Bucks Fire Service. From the comfort of their homes, students gained an intriguing insight into the life of a firefighter, as well as learning about Lawrence’s first-hand experience in the service.
As part of National Apprenticeship Week, we caught up with Ryan who was one of our Health and Social Care Apprentices to ask him to share his experience as an Apprentice and the how the experience helped to progress in his career.
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