Agricultural courses and apprenticeship schemes on offer to young people

Bucks Free Press: Agricultural courses and apprenticeship schemes on offer to young people Agricultural courses and apprenticeship schemes on offer to young people

THE Berkshire College of Agriculture has gone to town in a new initiative to promote its courses and offer more apprenticeship schemes to young people.

A town centre hub in the heart of Maidenhead will offer and provide information, advice and guidance on its courses and apprenticeship schemes as well as reach out to the wider business community.

Dignitaries joined college staff and students for the official opening of BCA Central in the Nicholson Centre on Thursday, November 28 and all welcomed the visible presence the college will have in the town centre and the message it hopes to send -that Maidenhead has a college.

The hub is part of a drive led by new college principal Gillian May to embed its work in the local economy by producing the highly trained, work-ready students and apprentices that local businesses need.

Gillian May said: "I’m overwhelmed by what we have achieved in a short period of time. This is about getting a presence in Maidenhead and making Maidenhead realise it has a college."

Gillian hopes that people passing will be able to pop in and find out what the college offers both for young people and for businesses, with people from outside Berks able to attend too.

The apprenticeship and traineeship programmes will operate across a number of areas including retail, business and administration, ICT, construction, motor vehicle, plus hair and beauty.

Among the councillors and business leaders at the official opening was William Emmett, chairman of the Bucks, Berks and Oxfordshire National Farmers Union.

He said: "I strongly support the move the college has made. It’s a great facility and a great focus for the people coming to the BCA site."

Former BCA student Phoebe Lacey, 20, from High Wycombe is co-ordinating the running of the hub.

Over the past four years Phoebe undertook a business and administration apprenticeship and before that she studied Level 2 in sport and Level 3 in public services.

She has now been appointed as BCA Central co-ordinator and was praised by principal Gillian May as being "everything FE is about."

She said she is now seeing parents and young people come into BCA Central investigation the options available in education to them.

She said: "People like having all the options laid out for them. There are far more opportunities than they know about. It’s not too hard for young people these days as they know what they want to do. The hard part is presenting all the options to them so they can make the right choice."

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