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College launches Access to Higher Education Diplomas

Thursday 9 July 2020

Selby College aims to bridge the skills gap in high-demand sectors with Access to Higher Education Diplomas

Colleges can play a significant role in providing highly-skilled keyworkers through Access to Higher Education schemes, says Steve Mulligan at Selby College.

According to an annual report on the skills landscape of the UK, more than two-thirds (68%) of UK employers have struggled to find skilled workers this year, with Brexit playing a huge role in this[1]. This is only expected to worsen due to the current economic crisis as a result of Covid-19, added Steve.

For adults looking for a change of career path or to develop new skills in the current climate, Selby College is offering a range of Access to Higher Education courses in high-demand sectors, such as criminal justice, health and science.

In response to the widening skills gap, Selby College has launched two brand-new Access Diplomas in Criminal Justice and Science, which will commence from the next academic year.

“Due to the current situation, the need for highly-skilled workers in industries such as healthcare, science and criminal justice has never been greater,” said Steve. “As a result, many people are considering embarking on a career in these sectors to help fill these vital roles, but they may not have the entry requirements to do so. The access to Higher Education diplomas can provide them with the opportunity to access the qualifications and skills they require for degree-level study, opening doors for them to progress on to a range of highly-qualified roles.”

Access to Higher Education Diplomas are designed to help those without traditional entry level requirements access their dream career, enabling them to develop a range of academic and study skills to prepare for progression.

The courses allow students to progress onto Higher Education and, subsequently, rewarding careers in a wide range of professions including health, nursing, midwifery, policing, youth offending services and prison service, as well as a range of science-based careers such as forensic science, environmental science or radiography.

“Whether you are returning to education, seeking additional qualifications or looking to change career path, our Access courses are the perfect step,” said Steve. “After completing the diplomas, many of our students have progressed onto Higher Education, providing them with a route to access their dream careers in the healthcare, criminology and science sectors.”

Since the courses were launched at Selby College in 2016, more than 70% of students have progressed to degree-level study, before fulfilling highly-skilled roles in the healthcare sector.

“By providing adults and learners of all ages with the education and training to enter into these critical roles, this will not only help to bridge the skills gap and shape tomorrow’s workforce, but build talent pools with the relevant skills to fuel a national economic recovery,” said Steve.

The Association of Colleges has recently launched its REBUILD Plan, which suggests that the Government should focus on a skills-based recovery of the economy, following the coronavirus pandemic[2].The plan aims to secure an investment of £3.6 billion from the Government to help 764,000 young people and adults to get the education and training they need to make their progression into jobs smoother and easier.

Steve Mulligan Assisant Director of Higher Education