Over 1,100 students from Newcastle-under-Lyme College (NULC), Stafford College and local high schools attended the annual ‘Next Steps’ Fair at Newcastle-under-Lyme College’s Knutton Lane campus on Thursday 9 March 2017. Newcastle and Stafford Colleges Group (NSCG) hosted the event to help students plan the next steps towards their future career.
Representatives from more than 50 universities across the UK were on hand to discuss degree options, provide information, advice and guidance and facilitate a schedule of over 40 talks on a broad variety of subjects including; cyber security, fashion, pharmaceutical science and law. The subject specific sessions were complemented by a series of practical workshops to help demystify the university application process including; writing a compelling personal statement, choosing a competitive programme of study and managing finance.
The universities were joined by over 30 local employers including the NHS, Army Reserves MOD, Mitten Clarke, Siemens, Peak Activity Services and Wedgewood who all attended to provide practical sector based career advice and guidance. They were supported by the NSCG apprenticeship team who were showcasing the variety of job vacancies available through the ‘Work Shop’ a free service available at the NULC and Stafford College campuses to offer advice on all aspects of employment, including vacancy matching, writing a CV, interview preparation tips and how to find the right job or an apprenticeship.
NSCG staff were also on hand to provide advice to those students wishing to further their studies in a familiar environment and enjoy fees that are generally lower fees than those offered by traditional universities. NSCG offers a range of university-level courses (HNC/Ds and Foundation degrees) including Art & Design, Business, Computing, Dance, Early Years, Electrical and Electronic Technology, Graphic Design, Health and Social Care, Mechanical Technology, Performing Arts, Photography, Music and Audio Production, and Sport.
Liz Wyman, Head of Leaning Resources and Guidance at Newcastle and Stafford Colleges Group, said: “The event is one of the biggest of its kind in the West Midlands region. We were delighted to welcome universities from the four corners of the UK along with a range of prestigious employers. The event is now in its 8th consecutive year and just gets bigger each year, we see it as a great way of allowing students to take the first steps on to their future career, without having to leave their doorstep.”
The universities in attendance included: Aston University, Queens University Belfast, Cardiff Metropolitan University, Sheffield Hallam, Keele University, Harper Adams University, University of Worcester and prestigious Russell Group institutions; University of Birmingham, University of Manchester, University of Exeter and University of Liverpool.
In 2016 in excess of 1150 young people left NSCG to progress to over 90 universities across the UK, including Birmingham, Exeter, Leeds, Nottingham, Loughborough, Southampton and The Royal Northern College of Music. Degree subjects included Law, Pharmacy, Management and Engineering.
Karen Dobson, College Principal and Chief Executive of Newcastle and Stafford Colleges Group, said: “Every year, we send more students to university than any other college in Staffordshire. We were delighted with the attendance at yesterday’s event and are pleased that so many students were able to gain unbiased information regarding their next steps upon completion of their Level 3 course, whether that be going to university or completing an apprenticeship. Events such as this serve to re-inforce our commitment to helping students make the right choices for their future career pathway.”