A “Stepnell” in the right direction


Former student, Joe Hayward, continues to “build” his career after completing an Access to Higher Education course at Heart of Worcestershire College (HoW College).

After successfully completing his course, Joe progressed on to Birmingham City University to “cement” his knowledge studying a degree in Construction Management.

Focusing on his time at college, Joe said:

“I thought because of the age I attended college I would feel out of place and a bit older but it was not like that at all.  The College is super supportive; they listen and help build your skills preparing you for whichever path you choose to take after college whether it is university or work.”  

Whilst undertaking a placement year as a Trainee Assistant Site Manager for Stepnell Ltd, Building and Civil Engineering Contractors, Joe was offered a full time position with the company.

Talking about Joe’s experience, Stepnell’s Best Practice Manager, Karen Ryan, commented:

“It became apparent very early in Joe’s placement with us that he met all of the criteria we look for in a potential future leader. Joe has shown a high sense of commitment to every task and is driven to learn and build strong foundations in all areas of the construction process. We are pleased to have Joe on the team and look forward to seeing him grow into a valued team member.”

Joe will return to university to complete his degree on a part-time basis to fit around his work commitments.

Having left school with no formal qualifications, studying an Access to Higher Education course has allowed Joe to lay the foundations for his future.

Commenting on his journey, Joe added:

“The Access course developed my reading and spelling skills which I was never confident in until I got the support I needed at college.  By having more confidence I can now speak more openly during meetings and deliver presentations both at work and university.”

Access to Higher Education courses are one year full-time, or two year part-time courses designed for adults over 19 who would like to return to education. To find out more about studying an Access course at HoW College please visit: www.howcollege.ac.uk.

About Association of Colleges West Midlands

AoC West Midlands promotes and supports the interests of 38 general further education, sixth form and specialist colleges throughout the West Midlands region. The West Midlands is a diverse region and our colleges reflect this diversity. From small specialist colleges in rural locations to large inner city establishments, colleges reflect the needs of their local environment. Working closely with employers, learners and the local community, our 38 member colleges offer a broad range of flexible learning opportunities for individuals at all levels. They aim to give local people the skills they need for success and prosperity, tackling barriers to learning and providing opportunities that meet the needs of individuals and employers
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