More than 120 would-be Apprentices from right across East Lancashire engaged with some of area’s leading employers at the Nelson and Colne College Group Apprenticeships and Careers Expo.

Representatives from 20 companies and organisations attended the Expo offering Apprenticeships, work placements and volunteering opportunities across a range of sectors including Business and Professional Services, Leisure and Tourism, Engineering and Manufacturing, Hair and Beauty, Health and Social Care, Uniformed Services and more.

The Expo was timed to fit into the middle of the College Group’s celebrations for National Apprenticeship Week which saw a number of ‘Back to the Floor’ visits to employer partners and current Apprentices throughout the week by Vice Principal for Apprenticeships Alison Rushton.

The College Group’s Apprenticeship Team were also out on the road across Lancashire at careers events in schools and a job centres, while students at both Nelson and Colne College and Accrington and Rossendale College had the opportunity to take advantage of specialist ‘drop-in’ sessions with the team around CV development and interview top-tips.

Tom Robertshaw, from Haslingden, was one visitor seeking an Apprenticeship at the Expo. He said: “I’ve had a break from studying while I considered my options, and I’m thinking of heading down the Electrical Engineering route. I heard the Expo was on and the companies that were attending so I came to have a look and see what there is on offer.

“I had a really good chat to the Protec team and the people at Chubb Systems. My dad’s an engineer, so it’s in the family, and I’ve been encouraged to go down that route because there are really good career prospects in Engineering.”

Sufiya Rasul, Widening Access and Apprenticeship Lead at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust said: “We have been extremely busy and we have had a good mix of interest in both clinical and non-clinical roles at ELHT from Nursing and Physiotherapy to Business Administration and Engineering.

“We’ve had people of all ages visit the stand, and they all came with the right questions too which is great. It was a successful evening for the team and a good chance to interact with our potential future workforce.”

Tom Lockett is a Finance Apprentice at LED lighting business acdc, and was promoting the company’s offer. He said: “We’ve had an enjoyable evening, and it has been useful for acdc. The reason I went into my Apprenticeship was because I liked the idea of getting a qualification and earning at the same time. For me, it was the more important to gain experience in the job as well as the valuable qualification alongside it.

“I’m studying my Level 2 AAT Accounting Apprenticeship at the moment and the aim is to progress through Levels 3 and 4, and then right up to chartered status. Mathematics was always my best subject and I’m really enjoying the Apprenticeship. I like my lesson time in College and when I’m at work I’m recording and sending out invoices. It feels like I’m in a job and I have a career.”

Following the successful merger between Nelson and Colne College and Accrington and Rossendale College, the range of Apprenticeships offered by the Nelson and Colne College Group has expanded.

Sectors in the Group offer include: Business and Professional Services; Catering and Hospitality; Construction Trades and Building Services; Education and Childcare; Engineering; Hair and Beauty; Health and Social Care; Motor Vehicle Maintenance and Repair; Retail, Sales and Customer Service; Sport and Leisure.

The Nelson and Colne College Group is the number one college in Lancashire for employer satisfaction, based on the government’s FE Choices Employer Survey.

If you are interested in starting an Apprenticeship with the Nelson and Colne College Group, please contact the Apprenticeship Team today by calling 01282 440319 or visit