Two pioneering Career Colleges approved to open in September 2014

The UK’s first two Career Colleges for 14-19 year olds have been given the go-ahead to open their doors to students in September 2014

17 June 2014 / Jump to comment (1)

The UK’s first two Career Colleges for 14-19 year olds have been given the go-ahead to open their doors to students in September 2014.

Oldham College in Greater Manchester will be opening a Career College specialising in Creative and Digital Arts and Hugh Baird College in Bootle, Liverpool will focus on the Hospitality and Catering Industry.

Both Colleges have strong support from local industry. Several employers have helped design the curriculum of each Career College and will very much be part of the delivery – offering relevant work experience, placements and mentoring to students.

The Career Colleges Trust has granted licences for the two Colleges to open, following an intensive approval process. A further seven Colleges including Birmingham Metropolitan College and City of Oxford College are working towards approval and hope to open in 2015. 

Career Colleges, launched by Lord Baker last year, are a new innovation in employer-led education. They take advantage of the Government’s decision to allow FE colleges to recruit at 14 – increasing the range and choice of opportunities for 14-19 year olds. A Career College provides the opportunity to combine academic and vocational studies within a specific industry specialism, improving career prospects for young people in the local labour market.

Each Career College is supported by employers, who will help design and deliver the curriculum. Alongside rigorous academic teaching in maths, English and other core subjects, Career Colleges will offer ‘real-world’ challenges, coupled with work experience – enabling students to develop their wider employability skills.

Speaking about the announcement, Chairman of the Career Colleges Trust, Luke Johnson, said: 'Career Colleges provide young people with the opportunity to develop life-skills and gain practical experience within a specific industry – alongside a rigorous academic education. This is essential in today’s world, where we see so many skills gaps, yet still suffer from high youth unemployment. As a business owner myself, I know employers need young people to be ready for work, and able to adapt to the workplace. Career Colleges will help arm them with this essential know how.

'This project has come a long way in a short amount of time. I look forward to working with these pioneering Colleges, and indeed expanding the project further so more young people and businesses can benefit.'

Adding to this, Chris Jones, Chief Executive of the City & Guilds Group and Deputy Chair of the Career Colleges Trust said: 'We need to make sure teenagers have the opportunity to experience different options and find out what works for them. Career Colleges are absolutely the right approach for this. Their links with employers help to connect education and employment, and they place young people in a great position to develop their skills and progress into fulfilling careers.' 

Comments 1 Comment

Ndambi Ndaya

30 June 2014

What a leap! We must learn to get out of the box and think without prejudice. Growth is from small to big; so giving teenagers the opportunity to test, appraise and approve a career path for themselves is paving the way for a future of passionate professionals. Of course City & Guilds qualifications make provision for the logical backups needed to progress to the highest ranks of professionalism. Cant wait to see Career Colleges replicated across the nations of the world.

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