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Students encouraged to dream big at Next Gen event

Last month, parents and students across North and West Yorkshire had the opportunity to explore post-16 options at the Next Gen: Choices Fair. 

Organised by Luminate Education Group, the event saw representatives from 19 local education providers, employers and training companies come along to showcase the wealth of opportunities open to young people following their GCSEs.

The aim of the event was to support students in making the right choice for them and make them aware of an increasing number of post-16 options.

By hosting a range of different providers under one roof, students were able to explore the various routes available, from continuing into further education at a sixth form or college to vocational options such as apprenticeships, employment or volunteering.

The occasion also provided an opportunity for employers to meet students from across the region, inspire the next generation of talent and promote their organisation. 

Clare Fitzgerald, Head of Stakeholder Engagement & Growth at Keighley College said, “It was great to meet so many Year 10 and 11 students from across West Yorkshire.

“There was so much ambition and motivation amongst those that attended, and it was great to hear their aspirations and offer advice on how they can achieve them.

“I’m delighted that the very first Next Gen event has been so productive and would like to extend my thanks to everyone involved for making the day a success.”

Throughout the event, those who attended were encouraged to be aspirational when thinking about their futures. 

Students added their ambitions to a ‘dreams wall’, which created an inspirational montage of careers and passions they wanted to pursue, and their plan to achieve those goals.

Take a look below at some of the responses students gave.

Luminate Education Group logo

Luminate colleges secure funding for green skills investment

Keighley College and Leeds City College are two of six further education providers across the region that will receive a combined £293,000 to invest in specialist equipment to deliver electric vehicle and retrofit training, grow and embed green knowledge within the curriculum and improve links with businesses to develop and enhance their green skills.

Bill Jones, Deputy CEO at Luminate Education Group, said: “We are delighted to be working with partners across the region to provide a solid foundation for future workers to develop green skills and learn about sustainability.

“As education providers, we aim to deliver quality learning experiences to our students, supporting them to progress into rewarding jobs that act as a catalyst for development in our region.

“This project will allow us to explore more green opportunities, and ensure that we successfully embed sustainable development goals into our curriculum.”

The Department for Education has announced that it will invest £2.6m in West Yorkshire’s colleges through the Strategic Development Fund. 

The fund was launched in 2021 to help colleges and further education providers to transform their facilities and offer high quality technical training that better meet the needs of local employers and boost job opportunities for their communities.

This would mean that local businesses have access to the home-grown talent they need for the jobs of tomorrow and more people don’t need to leave their hometowns to get a good job.

Project Director of the West Yorkshire Consortium of Colleges, Joanne Patrickson said,

“This funding will make a big difference to our colleges and in turn, the businesses and communities in West Yorkshire. 

“Part of the funding will be a capital investment into equipment and machinery to allow our colleges to train the workforce in electric vehicle maintenance and retrofitting buildings.

“Colleges will be employing dedicated teams to work closely with businesses in the region to understand what help they need to become more sustainable, and the WYCC The Green Skills Service to help employers access the training and resources they need to take action.”

The £2.6m is contracted to be spent by 31 March 2023, but this initial investment will allow these new initiatives to establish and offer training that will prepare the workforce for a sustainable future.

You can find out more about the plans here.

Open day offers a first glimpse at brand new Pudsey Sixth Form College

Students have been given an early taste of what Pudsey Sixth Form College will have to offer when it opens.

The new sixth form held its first open day to introduce potential students to the all-new further education establishment, which is set to open in September 2024. 

Pudsey Sixth Form College is being developed through a partnership between Crawshaw Academy, Co-op Academy Priesthorpe, Leeds West Academy and Leeds Sixth Form College.  

By creating this dedicated post-16 provision, future Pudsey students will benefit from an educational experience that builds confidence, raises aspirations and hope to inspire generations to come

The event took place at Leeds Sixth Form College, where the first cohort of Pudsey Sixth Form College students will initially be based next year, until the new college building is complete.

This gave prospective students a first glimpse at the exclusive classrooms, study zones and dedicated spaces they will have access to, as well as an opportunity to meet the architects, designers and builders who are involved in developing the new Sixth Form College in Pudsey. 

Parents and prospective students had the chance to view the designs and ask questions.

Students also took the opportunity to speak to teachers about the sixth form’s broad subject and enrichment offer, and have their questions answered by members of the management team.

Leeds Sixth Form College and Pudsey Sixth Form College Principal, Rachael Booth, said: “We are delighted to be sharing our vision for Pudsey Sixth Form College in person for the first time.

“This event has allowed us to showcase our ambitious offer of subjects and qualifications as a specialist sixth form, as well as our commitment to preparing our students for a future without limits.

“This is an exciting new chapter for education in the area, and it’s great to see so many people joining us to find out more.”

The Pudsey story

There has long been a history of partnership and collaboration amongst the local schools in Pudsey, but this new venture was born out of a need for a dedicated sixth form for students in Pudsey. 

As part of Luminate Education Group, Pudsey Sixth Form College aims to become the natural destination for further education in the area.

In 2024, the sixth form will take up residence in an all-new, multi-million pound campus located in the heart of the Pudsey district. 

Designed with community needs in mind, the new building will feature 26 classrooms as well as art studios, design and technology workshops and laboratories to give students access to unparalleled educational opportunities.

What’s on offer?

Pudsey Sixth Form College’s academic provision will centre primarily around A levels, offering a range of subjects that will act as a springboard to university and beyond.

But as one learning style will not suit every student, the sixth form will also offer practical courses and hybrid pathways for those looking to undertake a different type of vocational qualification alongside their A level studies.

Rachael Booth added: “We will provide choice for students in Pudsey, with unparalleled opportunities both in terms of course choices, but also the breadth of extra and super curricular on offer.Broadening choices at this critical stage in their education means young people can make an informed decision about their chosen path.

“We want our students to enjoy learning and to acquire the skills they need to succeed – no matter their destination.”

If you would like to find out more about Pudsey Sixth Form College, please visit the website.

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