Happy days thanks to support from college

A Berwick woman has highlighted the benefits of further education with Northumberland College.

Friday, 15th December 2017, 07:04 am
Shannon Jayne Lockard (right) alongside business partner Sarah Leiper in Happy Days Nursery, Berwick.

Shannon Jane Lockhart did a foundation degree in children’s workforce practice and now co-owns the Happy Days nursery.

She said: “I took out a student loan to help me cover the costs of my fees and found the course at Northumberland College excellent.

“It gave me a new outlook on childcare and I am now qualified to help children that I care for learn and develop effectively.

“The staff are an absolute asset to the college and are always there to help and offer advice regarding any queries you may have regarding everything from financial help to potential career options. I could not have got to where I was now without the skills I have developed from doing this course.”

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Northumberland College has put together a programme of free short courses and workshops aimed at helping people to develop skills for work or thinking of a career change.

From January, the college is offering 26 courses, free to all adults, regardless of age, financial circumstances or prior qualifications.

The free course offering includes Level 2 options, which are equivalent to four or five GCSEs at grades A to C.

The courses free to all adults include working with children and young people, safe handling of medication, food safety, 3D CAD modelling and sports coaching.

Marcus Clinton, college principal, said: “Northumberland College have acknowledged skills shortages and are proud to be able to offer a whole host of free courses to support those who may be struggling to access training in order to change career path.

“These courses really could help someone to get their first steps within a fantastic, life changing career, in areas including sports coaching, construction, English, childcare and health and social care and we are thrilled to be able to offer these to all for free of charge.”

The college also offer free employability courses for those receiving Jobseeker’s Allowance, Employment Support Allowance or inactive benefits to help people into work. Those specific courses, which include CV and interview support and computers for beginners, run at various days and times throughout the year and allow people to develop skills and stand out in the job market, with the aim to give people the confidence they need to return to work.

The college boast a 91per cent rate of learners progressing into either work or further study.

Anyone wishing to find out more about the free course offer should visit www.northumberland.ac.uk/freecourses.

For young adults aged 19-23, the College offers an even wider range of free courses for those studying towards their first full Level 2 or 3 qualification while anyone outside of this age bracket or wishing to study at a higher level will receive support to access the governments Advanced Learner Loan.

For those looking to study a Higher Education course, HE bursaries of up to £1,000 per year of study are available as well as access to the College’s award-winning Student Support team who may provide advice and guidance regarding student loans.

Northumberland College has undergone investment of over £14million since 2013 to provide modern and realistic training environments within hair and beauty, hospitality, construction, engineering, renewables and technology.

The latest addition sees a £2.5m state-of-the-art centre for science, engineering and digital creative industries open which aims to address the government’s STEM agenda and support the North East Local Enterprise Partnership’s (LEP) Strategic Economic Plan that aims to deliver over one million jobs by 2024, with STEM qualification take-up amongst young people being a key priority.