The City of Liverpool CollegeDaniel Morgan, Author at The City of Liverpool College
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Celebrating National Supported Internship Day

Celebrating National Supported Internship Day: City of Liverpool College Partners with HMRC to Offer Supported Internships for SEN Students

Today, on National Supported Internship Day, we take a moment to celebrate a successful collaboration with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) in offering supported internships for young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). This ongoing initiative provides valuable work experience and career stepping stones for six neurodiverse students.

Since the beginning of the year, this fully-funded programme by Liverpool City Council has offered our students a structured transition from college to the workforce. Interns have gained valuable experience working as Administrative Officers at HMRC’s Liverpool office, tackling tasks like managing inboxes and spreadsheets.

We understand the importance of comprehensive support. Students receive daily employability skills training from dedicated City of Liverpool College educators. Additionally, a dedicated job coach from the charity Hft acts as a vital link between interns and HMRC. This coaching helps them understand their roles, refine workplace skills, and boost their confidence and competitiveness in the job market.

HMRC remains the first government department to partner with DFN Project Search for supported internships specifically focused on SEND students. This initiative tackles the UK’s underemployment rate for young people with SEND, currently estimated at less than five percent, DFN Project Search connects employers, colleges, and local authorities to create internship programs that empower young people with disabilities.

Harry Heavyside, a 19-year-old intern, shares his experience: “I’ve become more confident and optimistic about the future. I would recommend this to anyone. You’re not alone. It sounds like a big step, but it’s life changing. Get involved and find a place that fits you.”

National Supported Internship Day reminds us of the importance of programmes like this that empower young people with SEND. The City of Liverpool College is proud to be a part of this ongoing initiative, fostering a skilled and diverse workforce for the future.

Five reasons students choose college over university for Higher Education

Deciding to go on to higher education is always a significant milestone in a student’s life, and choosing the right path can make all the difference. For many students, colleges have become the ideal place for studying beyond Level 3 or A-levels. Here are five compelling reasons why:

1. Career Pathways: Tailored to Your Needs

One of the main reasons students opt for higher education is the promise of an exciting career. It could be said that in trying to cater for everyone, universities can sometimes lose sight of that. At the College, we keep our focus on careers and opportunities in all the courses we offer. Whether you’re aiming for a promotion, looking to switch careers, or just starting out in the world of work, our HNCs, HNDs and Top-Up courses are designed to get you where you need to be.

2. Local and Flexible: Balancing Life’s Commitments

We recognise that life can feel like a juggling act at times. Unlike traditional higher education routes, the College aims to provide students with the flexibility they need to study alongside other commitments, such as work, family life, or other personal pursuits. The fact that our five campuses are in the heart of Liverpool city centre and are easily accessible means that students can seamlessly integrate higher education into their lives.

3. Better Value for Money

It’s no secret that many people are feeling financial pressure from many different directions now; we don’t think the cost of education should be one of them. Often, students choose college for HE because college programs offer better value for money compared to traditional university degrees. This means students can invest in their education without accumulating overwhelming student debt, making the path to success an easier one.

4. Industry Standard Facilities: Shaped by Employers

Here at the College, we’re not about courses, we’re about careers. That’s why our facilities are designed to give you the best possible transition into industry. From cutting-edge digital technologies to state-of-the-art laboratories and mock building sites, students who choose college benefit from an immersive learning environment that prepares them for the challenges and expectations of the real world. Employers actively contribute to shaping our facilities, ensuring graduates enter the workforce with skills that industry needs.

5. Dedicated Higher Education Support Systems

Beyond the classroom, we support each student during every step of their journey. We have a range of dedicated higher education support systems in place, offering counselling and mental health services, career guidance, childcare support and personal development coaches. As a college with strong ties to the local community and with an extensive alumni network, we recognise that success goes beyond academics. Our goal is not just to teach students, but to facilitate their personal and professional growth.

If you’re looking to take the next steps toward your dream career, and are interested in enrolling at our University Centre on one of the our HE courses, you can find out more, here:

The University Centre

Exciting News: The College leads the way to secure a £4.5 Million Boost for Skills Enhancement

We’re excited to share some wonderful news with you. Our college has been selected as one of forty institutions to benefit from the Government’s £165 million Local Skills Improvement Fund. Out of this, we’ve secured £4.5 million, which will be instrumental in shaping the future of the College.

Where the Money Goes

Of the total amount, £3.5 million will be directed towards capital projects. This includes essential improvements and securing advanced equipment to ensure our facilities are up to date and ready to meet the evolving needs of industry. Additionally, £1 million has been allocated for revenue projects, specifically targeting innovation in vocational training, aiding recruitment efforts, and fostering closer ties with employers.

Local Skills Improvement Plan (LSIP)

Our commitment extends beyond just our college walls. We’re proud to be at the forefront of implementing the priorities outlined in the City Region’s Local Skills Improvement Plan (LSIP), launched in June 2023. As the lead institution, we’ve crafted six strategic projects, focusing on areas like digital and green technologies such as Electric/Hybrid Vehicles, Hydrogen Technologies, and Solar & Renewable energy.

What else to Expect

In addition to upgrading our facilities, we’re establishing a central talent bank to connect employers with local talent. A Freeport Academy is in the works, alongside new, flexible training programs for employers. And, save the date for March 2024 – we’ll be hosting a skills summit for the Liverpool City Region in collaboration with the Liverpool Chamber of Commerce.

A Shared Vision

This opportunity is a result of collaborative efforts across the FE sector. The Local Skills Improvement Fund project aligns seamlessly with the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority skills strategy, focusing on enhancing access to training for the progression of the region’s workforce into technical and higher technical occupations, whilst also aiming to bolster the provision of digital skills, and enhancing the region’s competitiveness and productivity while striving to achieve its Net Zero targets.

This journey sees us joining hands with other forward-thinking institutions, all committed to shaping a brighter and more sustainable future through education and skills development. Together, we’re working toward creating thriving communities, resilient industries, and a workforce equipped for the challenges of tomorrow.

The City of Liverpool College wins prestigious HSJ Patient Safety Award

Readers may remember that a few months ago, the College was nominated for a prestigious Health Safety Journal ‘Patient Safety Award’ for a student-made virtual reality video that The City of Liverpool College made in collaboration with the Clatterbridge Cancer Centre. We knew that it was ground-breaking work, and we were thrilled just to be nominated, but now we have some exciting news to share… We won!

The video project, for those who missed it, was developed as part of the Clatterbridge Cancer Centre’s commitment to enhancing patient experience and took the combined efforts of a team of Therapeutic Radiographers and 80 of our Digital Academy students. The project offers patients a virtual tour of the Radiotherapy Department, helping them feel better informed and prepared for their first appointment.

Patients often experience anxiety about their first appointment, and this VR experience aims to alleviate their concerns by introducing them to the hospital, the Radiotherapy Department, and one of the Radiographers, Tom Cummings, virtually.

Feedback from patients who have seen the video has been overwhelmingly positive, with many mentioning how it helped to put them at ease, and we couldn’t be happier that it’s now in the world doing the work it was designed to do.

But we don’t want to stop here! We hope to expand this initiative to other departments at The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre – Liverpool and Trust-wide, with the goal of working with Clatterbridge to further improve the patient experience across multiple departments.

This project not only showcases the impact that passionate and committed students can make whilst they’re at college, but also the cutting-edge, industry-standard facilities the College provides. This project would simply not have been possible without facilities and technologies available to students at our £2.5 million Digital Academy located in the College’s Art Centre campus.

The College wants to extend its heartfelt thanks to everyone involved in this project, especially our incredible students. Your dedication and hard work have made a real difference in the lives of cancer patients, and that’s something you can forever be proud of.

Education Secretary Gillian Keegan’s “Inspiring” visit to The City of Liverpool College

We recently had the privilege of welcoming 15 government officials, including Gillian Keegan, the Secretary of State for Education, to our college. The purpose of their visit was to provide them with an extensive tour of our state-of-the-art facilities, with a focus on key skills shortage areas such as digital and nursing.

During their visit, the officials had the opportunity to explore our 4D immersive classroom, motion capture suite, and broadcasting studio. The experience left Gillian Keegan “inspired and impressed”, as she described her visit in glowing terms.

Our specialist facilities have gained significant recognition for their potential in addressing the UK’s current skills gap, particularly within the healthcare and digital sectors. By hosting government officials and demonstrating the capabilities of our college, we aimed to emphasise that educational institutions like ours are key to bridging this gap.

Following the tour, an exciting Downtown in Business roundtable event took place, led by Downtown in Business’s Frank McKenna, and featuring the Education Minister Gillian Keegan in conversation with some of the city’s key leaders in the education sector. The discussion cantered around various topics such as T-levels, bootcamps, and apprenticeships. It was a refreshing conversation in which Gillian Keegan’s personal experience with the issues and challenges she tackles added an invaluable perspective to her work.

We’re incredibly proud to have had the opportunity to host such a significant event and engage in meaningful discussions about the future of education and skills development. We firmly believe that educational institutions are at the forefront of addressing the skills gap, and we are committed to continuing our efforts to provide quality education and training that aligns with the evolving needs of the UK workforce.

The importance of investing in adult learning

Adult education remains as fundamental a part of further education (FE) as ever, with over 1.5 million adults enrolled into FE or skilled training in the UK in 2021/22. Whether people are looking to upskill in their current career, start a new venture or change direction entirely, adult education is more popular than ever.

In 2020, the adult education sector was labelled ‘the crown’ and community learning its ‘jewel’ by the Education Select Committee. But despite this and its growing demand, government spending on adult and community education by councils in England fell from £395 million to £311 million per year between 2013-14 and 2019-20, representing in a drop of 21%.

At The City of Liverpool College, we believe everyone should have access to quality education and training, whatever stage of life they are at. The benefits of adult learning are plentiful, not only for people, but for communities, businesses, and the economy. The world in which we live and work is changing all the time, impacted by advancements in technology, the research and guidance of practices, professional guidelines, societal changes and the culture of work.

Education plays a vital role in improving an individual’s outlook and their overall life chances, as well as enhancing a business’s workforce and skillset. Here are just a few reasons why investing in adult education is so important.

Helps build a solid career

Demand in the UK’s labour market is growing. Businesses now require more than a university degree from their employees. Employees are now expected to know a little bit about a lot of things relating to their industry and workplace. Adult education is a great way to achieve that.

At the College, we have a real laser focus on developing our curricular around sustainable careers, not courses, embedding the development of wider skills, knowledge and behaviours into teachings to support successful entry into maintained employment.

FE and training courses allow employees to evolve, produce better results, and increase their employability and promotion opportunities, all while accommodating adult learners needs and existing commitments. The opportunity to join short courses with flexible delivery means more adults can take advantage of such training and education despite external factors which prevent full time being an option, such as other work and family.

Essential to developing new skills or retraining

One of the key roles of adult education is to enable workers to develop their skills and acquire new ones. In the wake of the economic crisis, it gives people aged 18+ a chance to retrain, gain new skills and knowledge and stay up to date with industry needs.

Being able to access FE is particularly important for adults in disadvantaged groups, and those who may not have had access to the best quality education at a younger age.

When attempting to build a solid career, sometimes retraining is not just an option worth considering, it’s an essential. Due to the evolution of technology, many jobs require individuals to be tech-savvy; those who aren’t will either need to learn, or train into a different route.

Enables people to keep up with changes

With new technologies emerging almost daily, the world of work and the skills required to thrive in it continue to change. Understandably, it can be hard to keep up, especially for those who were not brought up in the digital age.

With the population getting older and tech playing a significant role in most, if not all, industries, adult courses offer a highly effective way of learning and staying up to date with the latest developments, giving adults the opportunity to keep informed of trends and remain in tune with the forever changing working world. This offers ample business benefits, as it enables employers to grow their own talent and workers will always have the up-to-date skills they need to be innovative and bring new ideas to the table.

Addresses skills shortages

The UK has a growing problem with adult skills shortages, which are more apparent in technical areas. Access to Higher Education, apprenticeships and vocational courses for adults provide a fruitful resource for upskilling, retraining and creating skilled workers who are prepared for a smooth transition into industry.

Adult education courses are designed to offer an answer to both current and future skill shortages by equipping the ageing workforce with the skills and knowledge to adapt to the ever-changing nature of business. This also broadens the job prospects and opportunities available to workers, providing access to lifelong learning and valuable qualifications which will ultimately lead to better quality jobs with higher salaries.

Supports social mobility

The 2021 Social Mobility Commission (SMC)’s State of the Nation report stated that “across the UK there are already signs that attainment gaps between advantaged and disadvantaged children are getting wider”. It also noted that “good quality training can help adults escape low paid jobs”.

To increase social mobility, we need to look beyond schools and universities, and invest properly into adult education. Adult learning and apprenticeships can help address low levels of social mobility by supporting adults to upskill.

Adult education plays a vital role in raising productivity, strengthening community cohesion, increasing social mobility, reducing unemployment and inactivity, enhancing progression into well-paid jobs, extending working lives, tackling health and mental health issues, and attracting inward investment.

An investment in adult education is an investment in transformative change in the UK. If the labour market is to work for everyone, those with lower skills and qualifications need to be able to improve their career prospects and realise their ambitions through access to FE and training opportunities. Colleges and educators must be enabled to continue to provide high quality education and skills training for adults.

To find out how your business can benefit from adult education at The City of Liverpool College, visit: https://www.liv-coll.ac.uk/course-finder/adults/

SIX REASONS TO CHOOSE COLLEGE

As we continue with our Colleges Week celebrations, we’re focusing on the benefits that come with choosing college as part of your academic journey. 

There are around 2.75 million college students across the UK benefiting from high quality teaching and training, combined with tailored support. Colleges have well-established partnerships with their regional industries and employers, which means students have incredible opportunities to progress to employment. Those who wish to move into self-employment or further study get expert advice to take their next steps. 

Here are six reasons why college is a great option, whatever you’re looking for! 

 

1. Lots of choice 

 

Colleges offer a wide range of courses, qualifications and development programmes, ensuring there is a pathway suitable for everyone, no matter their skills or background. 

Most colleges offer some or all the following: 

 

2. There is a starting point for everyone – even for those with few qualifications 

 

A high percentage of college graduates go on to land their dream jobs and/or have fulfilling careers – even if they did not leave school with high GCSE grades. While many college courses do have set entry requirements, there is a starting point for all students, even if they’re entering with fewer qualifications than others.  

Most colleges offer courses from entry level (where no previous qualifications are required), through to degree level study. An interest in the subject you want to take can be as important as your qualifications.  

 

3. Gain the skills and qualifications you need 

 

With thousands of courses to choose from, colleges are focused on developing the future workforce. They are committed to the success of their students, ensuring they leave with the knowledge, qualifications and essential skills they need for employment and life post-study.  

 

4. Flexibility and earn while you learn potential 

 

 College learning flexes to your needs. With many courses on offer, students can choose to learn full time, part time, or through distance learning.  

Colleges offer hundreds of options and pathways, from starter courses to vocational training and apprenticeships, through to higher education and degree qualifications. Professional qualifications are on offer too, as well as a range of online courses to help your job and career prospects. 

 

 5. Get the work experience employers want  

 

 Vocational courses at college give students the opportunity to develop their employability skills through work experience, interacting with employers, and various other ventures. Many colleges, like The City of Liverpool College, have invested in their own restaurants or hair salons which are open to the public so that students can experience a real work environment with tutor supervision. 

Like many across the country, the College is renowned for its strong partnerships with industry – from local businesses to leading organisations. Our colleges are recognised as innovators and leaders across the UK. 

 

6. Ample help and support available

 

Colleges are proud of being diverse, inclusive and safe places to learn, with a large support network available to you onsite.   

 

Read more about what Colleges Week is and the College’s activities across the week, here. 

What to do after GCSEs: Your options explained

After two years of hard study, GCSE results day is finally here. Today, thousands of students across Merseyside will be facing one of the biggest questions of their life: “what next?”.

 

 

Nowadays, there’s no longer the one-size-fits-all solution of moving on to A-levels then university after GCSEs. There are so many options, from further study and qualifications to the world of work and work experience and The City of Liverpool College provides options for all desired and alternative pathways.

Discover what options are available to you post-GCSE below.

 

1. Get real world experience alongside your studies with T Levels

 If A-Levels don’t sound fitting but you’re still keen to continue with your academic studies, T Levels are a great option for your next step.

A T Level is a two-year qualification designed in partnership with employers to give learners the skills and knowledge employers look for when it comes to hiring. The course combines classroom learning with a 45-day work placement and is equivalent to three A Levels. It’s a brilliant option to combine getting your qualifications with hitting the ground running in the world of work. A whole range of T Levels are available at The City of Liverpool College from September 2022, where you’ll have the chance to learn in brand new, cutting-edge facilities which have been specially designed for T Level students. To find out more, visit www.liv-coll.ac.uk/t-levels.

2. Earn while you learn with an Apprenticeship

Students who are ready for a truly hands-on approach to learning might look towards an Apprenticeship. Apprenticeships give you the opportunity to gain real work skills and practical experience while acquiring job-specific qualifications and receiving a wage.

 The COLC is proud to be Liverpool’s leading provider of Apprenticeships and works closely with employers to ensure you get the most out of your experience and gain skills that you can apply to working life. To discover what Apprenticeships are on offer, visit www.liv-coll.ac.uk/apprenticeships.

3. Continue your studies with A Levels

A-levels are subject-based qualifications that can help students get the entry requirements needed to progress onto university, further education, training, or full-time employment. To study A Levels, you generally need at least five GCSEs at grades nine to four/A* to C.

You might want to continue studying subjects they enjoyed at GCSE, such as English, maths or science, or pick three new options which align with your interests, such as media and journalism, or medicine, dentistry and veterinary. Browse the range of A Level options available at The City of Liverpool College at www.liv-coll.ac.uk/a-levels-and-gcses.

4. Resit your GCSEs

It might be that you didn’t get the GCSE results you were hoping for, or what you need to progress to your next step. If that’s the case, don’t worry! You can retake them at The City of Liverpool College.

It can be hard to get back on track, which is why the COLC offers a focused programme of support to help students get to where they need to be and pass the exams for required subjects like maths and English, so that you can move on to your next step.

For information about all our available courses, visit: www.liv-coll.ac.uk/course-finder

Pride Month Recap: Providing a safe space for everyone at The City of Liverpool College

 

All month we’ve been celebrating Pride Month, from our Safe Space Day barbering event to our Student Union Pride Day celebrations at the Arts Centre. It’s been a wonderful month celebrating diversity and inclusion, with our brilliant students leading the way.

First up was our Safe Space Day Event, organised by Chace-Jordan, one of our level 3 barbering students, and Paula Mcgraa, our level 2 and 3 barbering tutor, to promote gender inclusion in a barbering environment. Chace was inspired to put the event together because of his experiences in barber shops since transitioning:

“Since transitioning, it has been a common theme I see come up time and time again. Folks are saying how hard it is to get a haircut – how difficult it is to walk in a salon and just how many times folks have been turned away based on how they are presenting themselves.

“It can be soul destroying to be refused service, especially as lots of people deal with mental health difficulties – it can take a lot of courage to build yourself up to go into these places to then be told they won’t cut your hair. I figured there must be a better way, which is why I decided to organise this event.”

On the College’s role in the event, Paula said:

“We wanted to promote gender inclusion by offering a range of services, such as facials, hot towel face shaves, beard trims, head and face massage with high frequency or vibro machine, wig trims, specialist hair conditioning treatment, eyebrow trims and gender-neutral haircuts.

 

 

“As a college, we are incredibly proud to be working with our diverse group of students to create a safe space for everyone to be included.”

Next up was our Pride Day Celebration event, organised by our amazing Student Union. To kick off the morning, Christian Owens, from Gender Space, delivered a fascinating talk. Using his own personal, lived experiences as a gay trans male, Christian dedicates his life to helping audiences empathise and gain a greater understanding of the journey of transitioning, and the importance of diversity and inclusion in all environments.

Afterwards, we held a celebration morning at our Arts Centre building where there was cake, goodies, pronoun badges, tombola, and temporary tattoos for all to enjoy and get involved in. We were also joined by Axess Sexual Health Clinic, the free contraception and sexual health service for Liverpool, Knowsley, Cheshire, Cheshire East, Warrington and Halton who were with us all morning, promoting their free, confidential clinic at the Royal Liverpool Hospital.

The turnout for the event was fantastic and the overall support received has been humbling. The day was filled with a great combination of education, thought-provoking conversation, fun and enjoyment all round.

 

 

Of course, Pride isn’t just a month-long event for us. We work hard all year round to ensure that the College is an environment where all can thrive and feel safe. We encourage our students to be their authentic selves, and with all that we do we have inclusivity and diversity at the core.

To that end, we want to give a big thank you to our Creative Media Production student, Jacob Reilly, who played a significant role in setting up True Colours, an LGBTQ+ group dedicated to providing a safe space for students who fall under the LGBTQ+ bracket, to go and make friends and be themselves. True Colours launched in June last year and provided students with a regular social group to attend and a space to feel comfortable being themselves.

You can read more about the True Colours social group here.

What a month of celebration it has been. Here’s to another year of learning, spearheading initiatives, progress and furthering our commitments to ensuring the College is an environment where all its people can thrive.