A large number of young people from across East Lancashire have been participating in Nelson and Colne College’s innovative Pre-Apprenticeship Programme this summer.

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. It also means that local businesses who are thinking of taking on an Apprentice can have the confidence to know that there is a pool of talented young people who are actively seeking employment.

More than 40 young people took part in the programme which ran over a three week period.  During the summer, those taking part in the Pre-Apprenticeship Programme had the opportunity to attend a wide range of sessions including motivational work, 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 fun day!

Depending on what Apprenticeship they were applying for, the young people took part in a number of mock ‘real-life’ scenarios. 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.

The students were also able to participate in a live radio broadcast for the BBC Radio Lancashire’s Sally Naden show, where was holding a debate about apprenticeships. Including the presenter Sally, special guests included BBC North West presenter Tony Livesey, top restaurateur and Michelin Chef Nigel Haworth, Penlde Borough Council’s Town Centre Planner, Hanna Latty. The apprentices were able to share their thoughts on why they had decided that an apprenticeship was the correct option for them.

As a result of the Programme a large number of the students have gained full-time placements, working in a diverse range of companies such as Althams Travel Services, Barrowford Heritage Centre, Parrock House Nursery School, Halo Hairdressing, Sir John Thursby Community College, Nino’s Restaurant, Stirk House Hotel and Spa, Nelson and Colne College, Off Springs Nursery and Culverston Child Care.  A great success!

Employer & Projects Accounts Manager at Nelson and Colne College, Barbara Livesey said, “We are very proud of our Apprentices at Nelson and Colne College and we are committed to ensuring that our Pre-Apprenticeship programme gives them a unique insight into the world of work and work based training.  We are keen to instil the high expectations of both employers and the College so that they have a real head start when it comes to securing a placement.  It is testament to the quality of our prospective Apprentices that such a high number moved from being school pupils to career ready within 3 weeks.”