College offers ‘guarantee’ to Sheffield students

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A new jobs and careers guarantee, believed to be the first of its kind in the further education sector nationally, is to be offered to Sheffield College students.

The guarantee will apply to all new students, aged 16 to 18, starting full-time courses lasting more than six months this September.

On successful completion of their course, the college will guarantee that students will have an apprenticeship or a job offer or an offer of a place on a higher education course at the college or university, or a progression route to one of them.

Paul Corcoran, Chief Executive, The Sheffield College, said: “The Sheffield College Guarantee shows we are equipping our students with the qualifications and skills they need to secure a job, an apprenticeship, or progression to a course in further or higher education.”

He added: “Not only is this great news for our students, it is also great news for employers in the Sheffield City Region. The pledge shows we are committed to meeting their skills needs, improving regional productivity and contributing to economic growth.”

Approximately 6,000 students study on full-time courses at the college. The pledge will support students’ learning, personal development, jobs and careers opportunities, and progression.

Richard Wright, Executive Director, Sheffield Chamber of Commerce, welcomed the move. He said: “The college supports a diverse range of students, training them in the qualifications and skills that employers need. Students’ success depends as much on their progression - how much they move up qualification levels and into apprenticeships, jobs and careers compared to their original starting point – as it does on exam results. That is why I welcome this guarantee.”

To be eligible, students must successfully complete their course, achieve a 95 per cent course attendance rate, attend all examinations, assessments and any interviews arranged for them, and abide by the college’s code of conduct. Exceptions will be made for circumstances beyond students’ control.

Students with learning difficulties and disabilities on full-time courses lasting longer than six months are included in the guarantee. Alternative options for those students will be offered where appropriate, tailored to their individual needs. They may include progression to develop further employability skills, complete work placements and move into independent living.

The college has established its own recruitment agency, Job Connect, to help students into work, and will work even more closely with businesses to deliver the guarantee and help Sheffield meet regional skills challenges.

It is also expanding its higher education programme, which received a quality mark this year. The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education report identified good practice at the college including its work-based learning opportunities, employer-led projects, and employability skills, which are also part of full-time students’ courses.

Go to http://www.sheffcol.ac.uk or call 0114 2602600.