What to do after GCSEs: How the right college course can help you achieve your future career goals

PUBLISHED: 12:59 19 August 2020 | UPDATED: 15:59 19 August 2020

School leavers are advised to 'look at their options, think about what they enjoy doing and what will best set them up for the future.' Picture: Michael Coker

School leavers are advised to 'look at their options, think about what they enjoy doing and what will best set them up for the future.' Picture: Michael Coker

www.cokerphotography.co.uk

In the current climate, school leavers may be feeling a little lost and seeking guidance on their next steps.

'One of the big differences between sixth form and college is the level of independence and freedom to manage your own time.' Picture: Michael Coker'One of the big differences between sixth form and college is the level of independence and freedom to manage your own time.' Picture: Michael Coker

We spoke to Fiona Cookson, Director of Communications at North Hertfordshire College, to get her advice for school leavers and learn about the different courses on offer at the college and how they can put you on the path to success.

Fiona wants to reassure secondary school students that there is a place for them at North Hertfordshire College.

“The lead up to GCSE results can feel daunting, but take your time to look at your options, think about what you enjoy doing and what will best set you up for the future,” Fiona says.

College or sixth form?

You may be finding it hard to choose between your school’s sixth form (or another nearby) or your local college.

Fiona explains: “One of the big differences between sixth form and college is the level of independence and freedom to manage your own time.”

“Going to college is a completely different experience to being in a secondary school environment – students get treated more like adults, and are trusted to take on more responsibility for their learning.”

Diverse and industry-approved courses

North Hertfordshire College offers many courses to choose from including Hair & Beauty, Computing, Catering, Motor Vehicle, and Construction.

'The facilities in the classroom mirror that of the relevant workplace.' Picture: Michael Coker'The facilities in the classroom mirror that of the relevant workplace.' Picture: Michael Coker

“Our broad range of courses give you the practical skills you need to make you work-ready. Many of our tutors have previously worked in industry so bring that level of experience into the classroom,” Fiona explains.

“All the courses available have been carefully curated to ensure that students learn what they need to excel in the relevant sector.”

“Students will understandably be worried about the impact of the pandemic on employment and what that means for their future. There is a lot of uncertainty at the moment, but businesses are adapting and there are still opportunities. College will put you in the best position to make the most of those opportunities – equipping you with the skills and knowledge that we know employers are looking for.”

Facilities and college campus culture

Fiona says: “The facilities such as our hair and beauty salon, construction workshop and restaurant kitchen, mirror those that you will find in the workplace so students can become accustomed to a typical work environment.”

The college is “friendly and supportive, and both staff and the Principal make building personal relationships with students a top priority.”

Fiona describes the college as a “special and positive place to be.”

They are making some changes to the learning environment as a result of the pandemic; however, Fiona is confident that new students will still get the full college experience.

“Students’ health and well-being is our top priority and we have been busy over the summer adapting our campuses ready for the start of term in September,” says Fiona.

“School leavers joining us in September should expect a healthy mix of both online learning and on-campus classes, with full support available from their tutors. Get in touch with us to find out what a typical week on your chosen course will look like.”

Apply for a course today

North Hertfordshire College is giving conditional offers to all students who apply for a course to start in September 2020.

Go to www.nhc.ac.uk/study/16-18-learners for the available courses and to secure your place.

Call 01462 424242 or email enquiries@nhc.ac.uk for more information.


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