A record 460 students and parents attended Collyer’s “Not Going to Uni” (NG2U) evening and were treated to a lively “Question Time” style session, facilitated by Deputy Principal Steve Martell, outlining the post college world of employment and training.
Although the majority of Collyer’s students progress to university and higher education, a number of them are contemplating taking alternative progression routes, including sponsored degrees, degree apprenticeships, professional qualifications, apprenticeships or moving directly into the job market.
Experts quizzed by the audience on the night included: Thomas Lilliott (Assurity Consulting), Jill Durrant (NHS), Jordan Humphrey (Nestle), George Herritts (Easy Jet); Charlie Harrison (Edwards Vacuum), Jon Arnold (Oyster Worldwide Travel), Anthony Greenfield (UK Border Force), Neil Hutchinson (Goldman Sachs), Faisal Ahmed (Metricell) and Guy Watts (Architectural Plants). Dominic Wakefield (Wakefields Jewellers and Collyer’s Governor) also took questions on careers in retail and making yourself employable.
The experts explained that students need to be proactive to become credible candidates for employment, and it became clear that alternatives to higher education are not an ‘easy way out’ after college, but actually prestigious and popular pathways.
In addition to the tv-style question and answer section of the evening, students and parents were able to meet representatives from 50 organisations (another college record for this event!) that provide these opportunities. The growing success of NG2U reflects the interest in the host of post 18 pathways now available to young people.
Deputy Principal Steve Martell said: “This amazing evening was brilliantly managed by Collyer’s Employability Programme Co-ordinator Lucy Hargreaves, with help from our wonderful team of student ambassadors on the night. My thanks go to them, our very own Ian McAlister and all the presenters and stall holders for making this popular event so successful.”
Lucy Hargreaves said: “The NG2U evening is hugely important and follows hot on the heels of a busy programme of progression activities, including guest speakers, mock interviews, employability skills workshops and a host of other events in conjunction with key national, regional and local partner organisations. The feedback from students, parents and stall holders has been massively supportive of the employability work we are doing here at Collyer’s.”
Ex Collyer’s student Charlie Harrison (Software Apprentice at Edwards Vacuum) said: “I have now visited many careers events at schools and colleges and feel that Collyer’s is the best I’ve seen. Steve, Lucy and Ian really care about helping their students on their journeys after sixth form. It’s so nice to see that Steve’s still got the same energy and passion that he had when I was in year 12!”
Lucy Hargreaves said: “Next year we are planning a re-brand, changing the event to ‘Next Steps’, to better reflect the broad opportunities we are now presenting. We are also working up plans for this year’s Challenge of Management event at South Lodge Hotel, which again we are hoping will build on previous success.”
Ian McAlister (Collyer’s Director of Higher Education and Progression) added: “Next month we are running trips to the UCAS fair, Oxbridge and will be presenting our own Higher Education evenings. It really is an exciting time of year for our students!”