On Monday 2nd February St John Rigby and Winstanley Colleges celebrated their partnership at their annual Careers and Apprenticeship Event. The event gave students the opportunity to register their interest with a range of employers as well as finding out about entry requirements and the skills needed for different job roles.
The partnership between both Colleges was set up in 2012 in response to Government changes in legislation in Careers Information Advice and Guidance.
The changes required colleges to provide their own impartial careers advice. At the time of this new legislation, both Colleges felt that by working collaboratively they would be able to offer a more bespoke and impartial careers service, not only to their own students but also to schools in the Local Authority. This led to the appointment of a Lead Careers and Employer Link Co-ordinator, Tony Dann, who shares his time between St John Rigby and Winstanley. Tony came to the role with a wealth of experience, contacts and knowledge of the careers sector and labour market forces. Since his appointment the Careers Partnership has grown from strength to strength with local schools expressing an interest in the service provided and procuring it from the Partnership. This has resulted in four additional Careers Advisors being employed by the Colleges, managed by Tony to provide impartial advice in local high schools. This work was recognised through a successful nomination for a regional Skills for Business Award for the work with providers and employers on behalf of our young people.
Tony Dann said: “We have had real success stories over the past couple of years with students entering onto training programmes with top companies such as KPMG, BAE Systems, MBDA, Ernst and Young and Rolls Royce. We also work closely with local employers such as Fairhurst Accountants and Stephenson Solicitors. Indeed some of the successful students have been back to represent their employers.”
One returning student was Laura Edie, 19, from Wigan, who is proof of the partnership’s success. After attending the Deanery High School and then successfully gaining three A’s at A Level, Laura is now on a Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship in Legal Services working for Stephenson’s Solicitors. Laura said, “When I was studying at SJR, I spoke to Tony Dann about not being able to decide if I wanted to go to university or to do an apprenticeship and he was extremely helpful in assisting me. He directed me to the National Apprenticeship website in order to find opportunities that I may be interested in. I also searched the Manchester Chamber of Commerce website and decided that this apprenticeship was the one I wanted to commit to. I believe work experience is the most important aspect in the work place. The apprenticeship route enables me to work throughout the week as well as experiencing the student life by attending Manchester Metropolitan University.”
SJR Principal Peter McGhee added: “The partnership began because an increasing number of young people were looking at routes other than university and we wanted to ensure that they had a point of contact to give them expert, impartial advice and guidance. Our partnership has being recognised in a Department for Education ‘Best Practice’ document entitled ‘Securing Independent Careers Guidance’ and has led to both colleges formalising and branding the service.” Louise Tipping, Principal of Winstanley College, added: “The event today is testament to the success of the partnership.”