Education Guide 2017: Be Part of Something Different. Choose a Career with City College! @cityplym

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September is an exciting time: whether you are heading back to school or starting something new at college or university. For some, however, catching up with friends or starting a new course can quickly turn sour. What do you do if you change your mind and decide that you don’t want to stay in school? What if your course isn’t all you had hoped it would be?

If you are aged 16 or over and unhappy with your education or career choice, then it’s not too late to try something different. You can still apply for a full-time study programme or Apprenticeship at City College.

Mike Jones, Employability and Enterprise Manager at the College, leads an expert team of careers and information advisors and says: “We see many young people taking the bold step of saying ‘no, this is not for me’ and turning to us for free, impartial advice.

“As the leading provider of professional and technical training in the South West, we offer courses to suit a wide range of interests from engineering to beauty, media to science and plumbing to sport. Courses start from entry-level right through to university-level degrees, and you don’t need to have GCSE passes in English and maths to apply, as you can study these and improve your grades as part of your College study programme.

“There is a lot of misinformation out there. For example, you don’t have to stay in school until you’re 18, like most people think. College courses and Apprenticeships are great alternatives to school-based education and can set you on the path to further study or a great career.”

At the College, courses are designed with input from employers to ensure that what young people learn is relevant to the workplace. These partnerships with local businesses mean that students build important contacts before they finish their studies and have the opportunity to get great work experience, so they really will stand head and shoulders above the competition in an ever competitive job market.

Recent surveys have shown that 72% of UK businesses rely on people with STEM skills, but four out of ten employers have trouble recruiting staff with the right skill set. Students joining the College this September will be the first to gain access to and benefit from Plymouth’s new Regional Centre of Excellence for STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) at Kings Road.

The new £13million facility will enable the College to embed STEM skills right across the curriculum, meaning their students and apprentices will be in demand.

If you prefer hands-on learning, Apprenticeships can offer the same level of financial security as an undergraduate degree, with starting salaries in the region of £11,000 to £14,000 per year. The College’s apprentice success rate is 14% above the national average, with 96% of apprentices going in to successful employment. The College also offers an award winning university level provision, and those who have studied Foundation Degrees at City College have also gone on to great success.

Anna-Rose Chapman, a current automotive engineering student, said: “I’d say to anyone thinking about studying at City College to go for it. It is the best thing I have ever done. I came here to learn and better myself and I’ve done just that, but I have also had so much fun and made lots of friends. The College not only offers fantastic training but also a great social environment – I can’t recommend it enough.” City College was recently rated 1st in the South West and 2nd in the UK for student satisfaction (FE Choices survey, 2017).

If you are interested in making a fresh start and being part of something different, there are information events offering free and impartial careers advice and guidance every Wednesday throughout September between 5.30pm and 7.00pm at Kings Road.

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