College takes to the road during National Apprenticeship Week

Newcastle-under-Lyme College (NULC) will be taking to the road for two weeks to promote their apprenticeship programmes from a yellow classic American school bus.

From Monday 6 March to Friday 17 March, staff from NULC will be visiting a number of local high schools, City of Stoke-on-Trent Sixth Form College and Newcastle-under-Lyme town centre, to promote their apprenticeship programmes to young people as a viable post-16 education option.

In its tenth year running, National Apprenticeship Week (NAW) is co-ordinated by the National Apprenticeship Service and is designed to celebrate apprenticeships and the positive impact they have on individuals, businesses and the wider economy.  NAW has a particular focus on higher skills to show how young people, entrepreneurs and businesses can ‘rise to the top’ through traineeships and apprenticeships.

The College will be visiting a number of local high schools and school sixth forms throughout the two weeks including St John Fisher Catholic College in Newcastle-under-Lyme, Ormiston Sir Stanley Matthews Academy in Blurton, St Peter’s Academy in Fenton and St Joseph’s College in Trent Vale.

Apprenticeship staff from the College will also be visiting City of Stoke-on-Trent Sixth Form College from 11.30 on Tuesday 7 March and Newcastle-under-Lyme town centre from 10am to 4pm on Friday 10 March.

At each location, NULC staff will be providing course advice to anyone interested in studying an apprenticeship.  They will be joined by current NULC apprentices who will be on hand to speak to students considering an apprenticeship, providing insight on their own experience of being an apprentice.  There will also be the opportunity for students to participate in team building exercises, browse current NULC apprenticeship vacancies and view video case-studies from apprentices working in IT, early years, construction, health and social care and hairdressing roles.  All visitors will be provided with informative literature and a goodie-bag.

The College will be conducting their two-week-long Apprenticeship Roadshow from a classic American school bus. The interior of the 39ft eye-catching vehicle has been fully refurbished and boasts a comfortable lounge, kitchen, and central heating, making it a comfortable and engaging environment for course information and advice.

Jane Tunnicliff, Head of Work Based Learning at NULC, said: “We hired the bus for National Apprenticeships Week because we wanted to create a buzz around Apprenticeships amongst our target audience. We’re really happy that so many schools and sixth forms have welcomed us along to provide advice and information on apprenticeships. It’s going to be a busy couple of weeks as we have a full schedule of visits, but I know the team are really looking forward to it.”

IT apprentice, Ahmed Asif, from Burslem, is thoroughly enjoying studying his apprenticeship with NULC. He said: “I chose an apprenticeship because the benefits of earning and learning at the same time really appealed to me, but the main reason is because I wanted to gain work experience in a real work place environment. I’ve developed lots of new skills and I now have a clear career path ahead of me.”

NULC’s apprenticeship success rates are consistently ahead of the national average and the College regularly celebrates the achievements of many of their apprentices. Engineering apprentice, Josh Barber, who is currently undertaking his work placement at the pioneering technology leader, ABB, based in Stone, was recently awarded ‘Apprentice of the Year’ at the Institution of Engineering and Technology’s (IET) annual Apprentice and Technician of the Year Awards because of his outstanding work on a client’s wind farm grid connection project. Also, Early Years apprentice, Shamima Miah, was recently awarded the Charity, Voluntary Organisations and Public Services Award at the Asian Apprenticeships awards in November 2016.

The College currently works with a range of employers from a number of different industries including Health and Social Care, Childcare, Design, Business and Administration, Construction, Engineering, Motor Vehicle and more.  Key employer partners include ABB, Siemens, Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council, Alstom, Keele University, Knights Solicitors and many more.

In November 2016, Newcastle-under-Lyme College and Stafford College merged and officially became the Newcastle and Stafford Colleges Group (NSCG). This means that NSCG is now the largest education provider in Staffordshire and they can offer a much larger range of apprenticeships by working with a wider range of employers. Throughout the two weeks, the American school bus will also be visiting a number of high schools and schools with sixth forms in Stafford, Uttoxeter and Cannock, to promote the apprenticeship provision at Stafford College.

Anyone wanting to find out more about studying an apprenticeship at NULC are encouraged to visit their bus in High Street, Newcastle-under-Lyme, on Friday 10th March. Alternatively, visit, call 01782 254254 or email

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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