briony colbert

Briony Colbert, 26 from Far Cotton had not considered HR as a vocation when she left school and instead began her working career in finance at a high street bank.

“One day I just realised that banking just wasn’t for me anymore and decided to take a totally different route into HR,” she said. “I had to retrain and chose the Level 3 CIPD in Human Resources Practice at Northampton College as I had heard such good things about it through one of my friends who said it would be great for me. She was right.”

Briony studied at the College’s Lower Mounts site and was able to finance her course and career change through the Advanced Learner Loan.

The loan helped me out so much – I couldn't have afforded it otherwise. It was an easy process and the College’s Enrolment Centre helped me apply for it.

“Lower Mounts was a great site to be based at and I didn't feel out of place. I loved the course and the fact there were so many different units covered like HR information and employment relations. During the last months of the course I gained employment as a HR Assistant within local government where I get to put everything I learned at college into practice.”

Thriving on the variety of her job, Briony has not looked back. “I love that every day is different in HR – one day I am helping out with casework and the next I am making offers of employment. Hopefully within the next five years I will have completed my Level 5 CIPD in Human Resources Management and will be a HR Adviser.

“I would recommend Northampton College to anyone. I got excellent support which has helped me progress into the career I wanted.”

lynzey chapman

Mother of four Lynzey Chapman, 39 from Briar Hill accessed the Advanced Learner Loan while studying the Access to Health Professions course at Northampton College.

Lynzey said: “For me the Advanced Learner Loan was essential as I wouldn’t have been able to begin my healthcare training and go on to study to become a midwife, which is what I am doing now at The University of Northampton. I found out about the loan through the College when I applied for the Access course and used it to pay for the college course itself, study materials, stationery and even childcare costs. I would have struggled to pay for these things without that financial help.

“I am now in my second year at university and I use the skills I learnt at college on a daily basis, like medical maths, social science, human biology and important study skills. I used to work as an office manager which I enjoyed but I had always wanted to be a midwife and kept putting off the training due to family commitments. After my fourth child was born I took the leap to retrain and I haven’t looked back. Without the Advanced Learner Loan that wouldn’t have been able to happen. I can’t wait to begin my midwifery career when all my training is complete.”

melissa mehrtens millineryAspiring hat maker Melissa Mehrtens won the chance to work for a designer who supplies headwear to the Duchess of Cambridge having studied on an HE course at Northampton College.

The millinery student was named the overall winner of an international competition organised by the Worshipful Company of Feltmakers of London.

The 17-year-old, who cites Alexander McQueen as her design hero, scooped the £1,200 first prize and was given a work experience placement with Rachel Trevor Morgan, the Mayfair-based milliner to the Duchess of Cambridge.

She said: "The chance to design and make hats was one of the main reasons I came to Northampton College as I really wanted to learn new skills. I absolutely love it and to win the competition was amazing."

The College’s fashion department offers state-of-the-art equipment and facilities, giving students all the tools they need to embrace their creativity and bring their ideas to life.

The facilities include embroidery machines, lock stitch machines, a professional millinery steamer, a flat steam press and fusing press and a wide range of wooden brim and crown blocks.

For more information about the HE courses on offer at Northampton College visit http://www.northamptoncollege.ac.uk/courses.html

connor bingConnor Bing is hoping to represent the UK at the 2017 World Skills competition in Abu Dhabi, having been selected as part of the provisional squad.

Electrical engineering graduate Connor Bing, works as a mechatronics engineer for Brackmills-based automation company Festo, and will be using his expertise in circuit design, robotics and automated machinery to impress the judges at the UK Skills showcase at the NEC in Birmingham later this year.

He will be competing with companies such as Toyota for a place on the team of two due to jet out for the worldwide competition in two years' time.

He said: "The grounding I received at Northampton College was brilliant, the technology and facilities at their Booth Lane campus are outstanding, the staff are friendly and it's a superb learning environment which can set you up for future employment."
mitchell bilbe2 electrical installation resizedHaving worked on jobs with his dad for many years, Mitchell Bilbe is looking to follow in the family footsteps by learning a new trade at Northampton College.

The 18-year-old came to the College well-versed in aspects of carpentry, brickwork and carpet fitting and decided to add another string to his bow by enrolling on an electrical installation course. He is now hoping to secure an Apprenticeship and carve out a career of his own, potentially leading to having his own business in years to come.

He said: "I wanted to learn something new and broaden my skillset. It's been a really good experience and a lot of what I've learnt I can put into practice in other disciplines and use it to overcome problems on site. There's a great team ethic at the College and everyone helps each other. I'm looking forward to getting an Apprenticeship and following in my dad's footsteps."

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