Nelson and Colne College’s first Pre-Apprenticeship Programme has been hailed a great success, as more than half of participants go on to secure employment as a result of the experience.

Nelson and Colne College’s Apprenticeship Academy offers a wide range of Apprenticeship programmes, for those young people who wish to go straight into employment, gain valuable experience and earn a wage whilst they are studying. The aim of the Pre-Apprenticeship programme was to equip the young people with skills and confidence which would allow them to go on and be successful in securing a placement to support their Apprenticeship.

Over 50 students took part in the programme which ran over a three week period. The programme was opened by motivational speaker Rachel Smith, a fantastic lady who rowed across the Atlantic in 76 days! During the three weeks, those taking part could attend a wide range of sessions including motivational, team building and practical tasks relating specifically to the Apprenticeship that they had applied for. They could also take part in more general skills workshops such as ‘How to Prepare for Interviews’, ‘What is Customer Service?’, ‘Positive Language in the Workplace’ and ‘Perfect Presentations’ and work towards recognised qualifications in Health and Safety in the Workplace and First Aid. The Pre-Apprenticeship Programme culminated in a sports and activities celebration day, which included beach volleyball and giant sumo wrestling!

In the final week, elderly residents from local Care Homes were invited into College, where those who had enrolled for Health and Social Care and Catering and Hospitality Apprenticeships catered for and looked after the visitors in the College’s own Farringtons Bistro. The Child Care Apprentices also put together a fantastic crèche, ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’. Children from local Nursery, Toddle In, were invited in for the day and took part in various activities, emulating the real life atmosphere of a working nursery.

As part of the team building and motivational exercises, the group were invited to Holcombe Moor Army Training Camp, where in teams they took part in a variety of tasks including, the Krypton Factor assault course, archery, problem solving and team building. A fantastic day was had by all and the Army were very supportive and encouraging.

As a result of the Programme, 20 young people have now started full time Apprenticeships, in companies such as Hychrome, Cooke Fuels, The Higher Trapp Hotel, Thomas Whitam Sixth Form Centre, Foils and Nelson and Colne College. This is expected to rise in the next few weeks. A great success!