The Harrogate College column with Debra Forsythe-Conroy

The College is already planning its offer for 2019 and the introduction of the new reforms.
The College is already planning its offer for 2019 and the introduction of the new reforms.

The recent review of post-16 education (the Sainsbury Review) is welcome as it sets out clearly defined routes to progress into employment through study on a technical, professional or degree level qualification.

These government reforms may just level out the importance of technical and professional levels through the introduction of new T levels which are designed to rightfully sit alongside A levels as acceptable and valuable progression routes.

The much-needed reforms comprise of 15 routes that link related curriculum into occupational areas. These include business and administrative; catering and hospitality; childcare and education; construction; creative and design; digital; engineering; hair and beauty; health and science; legal, finance and accounting.

The college is well positioned to offer good quality technical curriculum at level two and three, with the opportunity to progress onto a technical higher education degree (level 4 plus) in a related area.

The college’s aim is to continue to support the training needs of local employers and business start-ups; investment in the new accommodation has supported the new curriculum developments. Aspiring managers within hospitality, early years’ and construction sectors can now access a degree level qualification enabling promotion opportunities.

Those already working in the beauty therapy industry can study to degree level with the newly validated Cosmetic Aesthetics degree. The new photography and art studios inspire those budding creative people who, as yet, have an undiscovered talent.

Growth within the science and health care curriculum is a strong focus for the new academic year providing opportunities for students to study specialised subjects at HNC/HND level. Students will study in new facilities and gain valuable work experience.

Bioscience and Health and Social Care modules are carefully selected to ensure learners are equipped within a rapidly changing industry.

The key skills of leadership and management are also embedded into all new curriculum including pathways for education and health care professions, Business and IT and a range of qualifications available at levels 1, 2 and 3 to meet employer needs, changes in trends, and are preparatory for the new technical pathways from 2019.

Early Education curriculum continues to grow following links with local Children’s Centres using the outdoor learning area, providing valuable learning opportunities to very young children and their families.

GCSE English, Maths and Science continue to be highly successful and applications for September entry are being taken now. For those whose skills may be a little ‘rusty’, it is now possible to study for GCSE English and Maths over a two year period rather than the normal one year.

Candidates brush up their skills by doing a ‘Pre-GCSE’ course beforehand and, as a result, can gain the skills and confidence needed for success in GCSE.

Harrogate and district welcomes people from all over the world and the college’s ESOL courses offer good quality support with reading writing and speaking and listening. Additionally the 10-week IELTS courses, a requirement for university entry for non-native English speakers, facilitate second language student’s access to HE.

The college and other local training providers are planning their offer for 2019 and the introduction of the new reforms.