Uni or not uni? Students study the options

A record 400 students and parents attended Collyer’s “Not Going to Uni” (NG2U) evening and were treated to live “Question Time” style sessions, outlining the post college world of employment and training.

Although the majority of Collyer’s students progress to university and higher education, a number of students are contemplating taking alternative progression routes or moving into the job market.

The panel of experts took part in a lively Q&A session at Collyer's NG2U 2017 . Picture by Ian McAlister

The panel of experts took part in a lively Q&A session at Collyer's NG2U 2017 . Picture by Ian McAlister

Experts quizzed by the audience included: Amy Sprules (RSM), April Tilson (Assurity Consulting), Ali Hainsworth (Grant Thornton), Emillie Corden (Nestle); Laura Emberson (Virgin Holidays/Virgin Atalntic), Prof. Dave Cooper (Chichester University), James Seden Smith (Red River/Chichester University), Domi Wilkinson (Army) and Tom Charman (Gatwick Airport).

The experts explained that students need to be proactive to become credible candidates for employment, and it became clear that alternative higher education is not an ‘easy way out’ after A-Levels, but is actually a prestigious and popular pathway. One recurring message of the evening is that the market for alternative higher education is highly competitive, and so the best thing a student can do is compete for these roles.

In addition to the question and answer section of the evening, students and parents were able to meet representatives from companies that provide these opportunities. The success of this event reflects the opportunities available for young people, as the world we live in is changing faster than ever before. Given the fact that this year’s event attracted 230 more people than the previous record, the team at Collyer’s did well to keep up with the high demand, and the event was highly successful as a result of this.

Ian McAlister, who runs the Progression Directorate at Collyer’s said: “The college’s numerous progression activities have included guest speakers, mock interviews, employability skills workshops and a host of other events in conjunction with key national, regional and local partner organisations.The NG2U evening is hugely important and follows hot on the heels of this busy programme.

“Massive thanks go to the many organisations, companies and individuals who presented this evening; all of this complex delivery was coordinated by the Progression Directorate’s Lucy Hargreaves and my thanks go to her and all our presenters, stall holders, student volunteers and to Vice Principal Steve Martell for his sterling work in comparing and presenting the evening.”

Grant Thornton’s Ali Hainsworth said: “If it wasn’t for the work of the Progression Directorate at Collyer’s, I wouldn’t be here tonight representing Grant Thornton! I was sat in the audience as a Collyer’s student this time last year, so I’m conscious of how important it is for them and their parents to know about alternative routes.”

Nestle’s Emillie Cordon said: “I thought the Q&A panel was a clever idea and the work Collyer’s does in this area is the best I’ve seen. Schools and colleges across the country should use Collyer’s as an example.”

Event organiser Lucy Hargreaves from the ‘Progression Directorate’ at Collyer’s was delighted: “This is the fourth NG2U at Collyer’s and to attract 400 people is a great achievement. The event has a hugely positive impact on the careers and progression programme offered at our college.

“It was great to see so many students and their supportive parents and friends actively engaged in considering future career paths.”

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