"I joined Northampton College after completing a year of AS Levels at school. I never really settled into the sixth form environment. Everything I was studying was all science and maths-based and really stressful so I decided to do something different. My parents suggested Northampton College so I attended an open day and it was the best thing I ever did.
"I settled on Level 3 Applied Science and immediately noticed a difference – I loved the freedom and the fact I was treated like an adult. I’m now enjoying university, studying biomedical science at Keele University.
"I would absolutely recommend Northampton College to anyone in the same situation as I was or those who have left school wondering what to do next. There are a variety of courses and the facilities and support from staff is amazing."
"Attending Northampton College was my first taste of education in the UK. I moved here from Ghana and had always enjoyed working on cars so I thought about a course I could study that could provide work wherever I go.
"It was a daunting time for me, I struggled when I first arrived with the demands of living in another country and fitting in when I didn’t know anyone. The pastoral team at Northampton College helped me to settle in. I worked my way up and successfully completed Level 1 and 2 before moving on to Level 3.
"The support I have received from all the teachers has been amazing. They really want you to succeed and take the time to make sure you are learning and progressing. The College facilities are amazing and I’ve learnt to use all of the equipment that you have to use in the industry. I’ve enjoyed using the diagnostic equipment and hope to go on to gain an apprenticeship or get a full-time job."
"I left school after my GCSEs and always knew that Northampton College would be my first choice. I began a Foundation course and went on to join the Level 1 Vehicle Maintenance and Repair on the bodywork side of things in the workshop.
"I enjoyed the hands-on learning and found being at college more engaging than learning at school. The teachers have respect for you, there’s no talking down to people – you all get along.
"I’ve really enjoyed being able to put what we’ve learnt into practice and being trusted to carry out work on customer’s cars. This hands-on learning has been great and provides the skills and confidence you need to go on to work in the industry.
"I currently work for Halfords and would love to get an apprenticeship and eventually a full-time job in the industry."
"I’m a practical learner and I was really impressed with the science facilities at Northampton College and found the idea of learning in a lab exciting. The hands-on learning was what I had been looking for.
"The tutors are so supportive and can’t do enough for you. I loved the variety of the lessons. It gave me confidence to know that I was learning things that could be used in a future work environment.
"After completing my course I went on to work in a food lab for just under a year before I began a degree in biology at the University of Northampton. I even came back as an assistant lecturer at Northampton College for a while and I now work as a Public Health lecturer at Northampton University as well as studying for a degree in microbiology research.
"Northampton College has helped to get me to where I am today. It prepared me so well for university study as well as for work in the industry."
"Northampton College taught me the essentials which have stayed with me throughout my career. It gave me an understanding of the techniques and methods you need to be able to enjoy a career in catering, and also the confidence to try new things, discover new flavour combinations and put my own style on my dishes.
"I’ve had the opportunity to cook for the likes of Jay-Z and run the kitchen in an award-winning local restaurant and am now working for Earl Spencer at Althorp. In 2019 I was named ‘Chef of the Year’ in the Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards. None of this would have been possible without the support and guidance I had from the team at Northampton College in the early days.
"A career in catering is hard work. It’s long hours and a lot of blood, sweat and tears but it’s totally worth it. Coming to college instilled in me a strong work ethic and the drive and determination which has stayed with me ever since. It’s the perfect place for any young chef to start their story."