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14th March 2019

Over 2000 students from Newcastle College and Stafford College, part of the Newcastle and Stafford Colleges Group (NSCG), attended an annual ‘Next Steps’ Fayre at Newcastle College’s Knutton Lane campus on Thursday 14 March 2019. NSCG hosted the event to help students plan the next steps towards their future career.

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Despite a wet and windy start to the day, representatives from almost 50 universities from across the UK were on hand to discuss degree options, provide information, advice and guidance and facilitate a comprehensive schedule of talks on a broad variety of subjects including; policing and criminal justice, careers in the biomedical sciences, degree apprenticeships, architecture, accounting 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, preparing for interviews, choosing a competitive programme of study, scholarships and managing finance.

The universities were joined by over 20 local employers including: Belong, Capula Limited, Fuchs, IAE, Mitten Clarke, NHS Trust UHNM, Olympus Engineering, The Royal Air Force and Wade Ceramics 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 Apprenticeship Hub’, a free service available at the Newcastle College 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 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 than those offered by traditional universities. NSCG offers a range of university-level courses (HNC/Ds and Foundation degrees) in a number of subjects including; Art & Design, Business, Computing, Digital Content Creation, Early Childhood Studies, Engineering, Fashion & Textiles, Graphic Design & Advertising, Health & Social Care, International Travel & Tourism, Music, Performing Arts, Photography, Public Services 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 10th 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.”

47 universities attended the event from all over the UK including: Aston University, University of Birmingham, Cardiff Metropolitan University, Durham University, De Montfort University, Harper Adams University, Keele University, Loughborough University, Manchester Metropolitan University, University of Nottingham, Liverpool Hope University, Southampton Solent University, University of Derby, University of Exeter, Staffordshire University and the University of Salford.

In 2018 circa 1200 young people left NSCG to progress to over 97 university destinations, studying a wide variety of degree subjects including Biomedical Science, Law, Graphic Design, Aerospace Engineering, Archaeology, History and Chemistry, The Atmosphere & Environment.

Karen Dobson, Principal and Chief Executive of Newcastle and Stafford Colleges Group, said: “The number of students progressing to university from NSCG has grown consistently over the years, we are now one of the largest providers of students to university in the country. However, university isn’t the option for everyone, so we were delighted to welcome a large number of important employer partners to the College on the back of National Apprenticeship Week, to discuss the diverse range of apprenticeship opportunities available across the region.”

Karen continued: “This is a fabulous event which is extremely well supported by universities and local employers. It gives students a great opportunity to gain unbiased information regarding their next steps upon completion of their study programme, whether that is 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.”

To find out more about university level courses at either Newcastle College or Stafford College, visit nscg.ac.uk or contact the Information Point on 01782 254254 (Newcastle College) or 01785 23 800 (Stafford College) or he@nscg.ac.uk.