Fresh scheme to aid Preston students’ job prospects

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COLLEGE bosses in Preston have signed a deal with the city council aimed at boosting the job prospects of local students.

Preston’s College has developed two project-based learning programmes, which will enable 33 16 -18 to pursue a career in these areas.

The courses, in fitness and leisure and early years education, start in September and will combine on-site training and academic teaching, incorporating the college’s acclaimed project-based learning approach.

The partnership follows hard on the heels of a similar venture with South Ribble Council.

The Fulwood-based college’s Early Years Cadetship Academy was born out of the What Women Want campaign - a scheme from Preston City Council which encouraged females over the age of 14 in areas of low participation in sport and physical exercise to get active.

As part of the programme, the college’s early years students set up a free crèche facility for those taking part.

It was such a success that the crèche continued every Wednesday at West View Leisure Centre and is now a paid-for function for babies and young children.

During the Cadetship, students will receive on-site work experience and knowledge development at West View, working towards qualifications in Early Years Education.

The sports students will receive three days commercial experience and two days teaching at West View and Fulwood Leisure Centres, which includes roles in leisure assistance, coaching and front of house - working towards nationally-recognised qualifications in activity leadership, leisure operations and gym instruction.

David Smith, head of school for sport, exercise and public services at Preston’s College, said: “Our project-based learning approach was so well received by South Ribble Borough Council that it was a natural fit to roll out the scheme further afield and it’s great to have Preston City Council on-board as our newest employee partner.”

Jason Waldron, head of school for health, social care and early years at Preston’s College, added: “The newly-launched Early Years Cadetship Academy gives students the best of both worlds: real work experience and academic qualifications to ensure they’ve the right skills and experience that employers want.

“Our partnership with Preston City Council enables students to learn on the job at a local crèche facility

Coun Veronica Afrin is Preston City Council’s cabinet member for culture and leisure.

She said: “This is an exciting opportunity to work on creating the next generation of leisure staff, who hopefully stay and work in Preston.

“This joint initiative will provide students the real live experience that no amount of classroom theory sessions can deliver.

“Preston City Council is looking forward to welcoming the first students in September and are confident that they will be the first of many who we train up to the industry standard.”