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"When I left school I didn’t know what I wanted to do. A family member is an electrician and suggested I try it. I got a job at Tingdene Homes which included Apprenticeship study at Northampton College.

"I’d had a few jobs before I came here and gained a basic knowledge before enrolling on the course as an apprentice electrician. I attend one day a week and receive a site visit once every six weeks. It’s great to have someone come out and visit you at work and the communication is excellent. I love how my day at college is split between a practical session in the morning and classroom learning in the afternoon, it breaks it up. It’s been great to take what I’ve learnt at college back to my everyday job."

lily smith

"I was looking for a job shortly after having my son. I found a job at Daventry District Council as an Apprentice Admin Assistant, which involved attending college one day a week.

"It was good to be able to actually attend the College rather than study at home. It makes it a lot easier to understand. I had lots of one-to-one time which was excellent. I’m now waiting to start Level 3 after passing all units.

"I learnt a lot and my tutor was brilliant, she wouldn’t just read off a board but demonstrated examples that we could all relate to. I’m not someone who learns best from reading text from a book so going into college and listening to a tutor made all the difference for me."

kathryn holmesKathryn Holmes was part way through a professional chef’s diploma at Northampton College when she realised a career in the kitchen wasn’t for her.

Rather than letting her give up, staff worked closely with Kathryn to ensure she stayed on to achieve her Level Three qualification and earn a place at university to study an alternative subject. Fast forward four years and Kathryn is the proud recipient of a first class honours degree in environmental health and looking forward to a new career working in food safety.

She said “It would have been easy for the staff to give up on me but they didn’t and I’m truly grateful for that. I really appreciate the extra effort they put in to ensure I got the qualifications I needed and the help they gave me in finding the right course at university. They didn’t need to do that – it just shows what amazing people they are.

“I’m grateful for all the opportunities Northampton College has given me and it’s been nice to stay in touch and come back to deliver presentations to current students on food hygiene and safety.”

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“I previously studied Mechanical Engineering but switched to Civil Engineering and love it. I come to site in the morning and get involved with the ‘setting out’ – dealing with the sub-contractors and making sure all the manholes, drains and kerbs are being built in the right place, at the right height and at the right time.I’m thriving on the responsibility and having much more input into projects I’m working on.

“Northampton College has been amazing for me. Everyone there is very student-focused and everything is aimed at preparing the next generation of workers. I can definitely see myself staying at Balfour Beatty and working my hardest. I’m grateful for the opportunity and determined to make the most of it.”

ollie jashanica at higgins case studyPersistence paid off for Level 2 carpentry and joinery student Ollie Jashanica who landed himself a paid job after impressing on work experience.

The first year student completed a successful placement with Higgins and, keen to show his enthusiasm for the role, he wrote to the company asking to be considered for any future opportunities. Shortly after, he received a phone call from the director offering him a job!

Ollie said: “I was over the moon. I really enjoyed my time at Higgins and now I’m going to be working there full time in the holidays and part time during term time. It’s a great opportunity to earn some money and put what I’m learning at college into practice in the workplace. I’m really enjoying my course and I’d like to progress onto an apprenticeship.”

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