Shropshire students who are collecting their GCSE results this week have never had a greater choice of further education options on their doorstep.
That’s the view of Graham Guest, principal and chief executive at Telford College, which is launching its pioneering new 7th Form in September.
He said: “We’re constantly talking to local employers about the type of skills they need, and evolving our curriculum accordingly.
“Modern-day education is all about addressing skills gaps in industries, opening students’ minds up to new sectors, and giving them a clear and stress-free choice of what to study after their GCSEs.
“It is vital that young people make the right decision about the direction they want to go next – otherwise, it can be a very expensive mistake.”
Mr Guest said: “Students with a more academic approach might want to take the traditional A level route towards a possible university place – but for others, vocational choices may better suit their needs.”
Traditional A level courses are at the heart of Telford College’s 7th Form but it also offers distinct career routes in leading industries, including, business, creative, computing, engineering, health and social care, sport, law and politics.
Enrolment is now open, with Telford College holding GCSE ‘progression hubs’ at its Haybridge campus from 23 August to 7 September, staffed from 8.30am to 5pm by a dedicated team of professional qualified expert staff.
Mr Guest said: “It’s important not to let disappointing GCSE results put anyone off further studies – there’s a course out there to suit everyone.
“There are a range of pathways in A levels and vocational and apprenticeships.
“Entry requirements for different qualifications can vary but the college can cater for all ability with our wide range of courses.
“Then there are apprenticeships – a chance to earn a salary and gain a qualification – in a growing range of careers, from hairdressing and healthcare to engineering, IT, business administration, and much more.
“We currently offer apprenticeships in more than 30 different professions at Telford College.”
He added: “All in all, there has never been more choice on offer to young people in Shropshire, whatever their GCSE grades.
“So the message to young people is: if you have a specific career in mind, it’s important to check out all your education options.”