From education to employment

A fantastic achievement – more students to benefit from careers guidance at Stoke on Trent College following prestigious award

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Stoke on Trent College (@SOTCollege) and its partners are celebrating after being accredited to an international quality standard for organisations that deliver information, advice and guidance – the Matrix Standard.

As one of the fastest growing economies in the country, it is vital that we find the untapped talent and help individual progress into skilled employment, higher level skills or an apprenticeship. Working with a range of employers means the College has the best chance of ensuring the pipeline of skills that industries in the area need and to achieve ‘Levelling Up’ through skills. 

Following a rigorous assessment, the College has been accredited to the prestigious Matrix Standard for the next three years. The Matrix Standard demonstrates the high-quality of the information, advice and guidance it provides to students of all ages, including apprentices and adult learners, to ensure they have the confidence and skills to make choices for a lifetime of fulfilment.

The assessor met with over 70 students and staff across the week at both campuses to find out about how the College supports students at different stages of their learning and in accessing and achieving their career aspirations.

They also met with partners from Stoke-on-Trent City Council, Staffordshire University, Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Careers Hub, Jobcentre Plus and The Prince’s Trust to find out about how we work with them to develop a highly-trained and reliable workforce and the active role we play in the development of a vibrant local economy.

New Stoke on Trent College CEO & Principal Lisa Capper MBE is understandably delighted, she said

“I could not be more proud of our College and the outstanding work and contributions of our staff, colleagues, partners and Governors to ensure our students are supported, motivated and challenged to be their very best. Getting the right advice at the right time means many of our learners successfully progress into skilled employment, university or on to an apprenticeship.”

Commenting on the award, Dave Hopley, Executive Director of Student and Digital Services, said

“Our assessor was very thorough in questioning and worked across all areas of the College to observe the high importance the College places on the individual career journey and supportive offer of wellbeing, particularly post Covid-19. I am extremely happy with the result, and the impact this will make for the College and our city region.”

Stoke on Trent College is currently training 617 apprentices on their two Stoke campuses and with local employers, and 8,000 local people get qualifications every year through the College.

The next open evening at the two College sites is Thursday 23 June 5.30-7.30pm. Burslem offers Construction, Engineering, Science & Technology, and Cauldon has Health & Social Care, Digital and Creative, Pharmacy, Sports, Public Services and Hospitality & Catering.

For more information about Stoke on Trent College, visit

Further information:

  • As a job with training, apprenticeships can be used by learners of all ages and all career stages to gain valuable skills, retrain or reskill. There are over 600 employer-designed, high-quality standards available, ranging from level 2 (GCSE equivalent) to level 7 (Masters’ degree equivalent) in sectors as diverse as engineering and manufacturing, the creative arts, and public services, providing a range of options for employers to choose from to meet their business’s needs.
  • Traineeships are for 16-24 year olds who need a supported transition to move into further study, an apprenticeship or employment. They last between 6 weeks to 12 months depending on need (20 weeks on average) and consist of work experience placements (min. 70 hours), training (including English & Maths and, if relevant, sector-specific training) and work preparation.
  • The College is also part of Silicon Stoke led by Abi Brown Leader of the City Council which aims to make Stoke-on-Trent the most digitally advanced city in the UK. The College is developing the Fibre Academy as part of this development.
  • The work in key sectors and through Colleges such as Stoke will also form part of the new LSIP – Local Skills and Improvement Plan launched in the Government’s Skills for Jobs White Paper
  • The Matrix standard is the international quality standard for organisations that deliver information, advice, and/or guidance (IAG).  Either as their sole purpose or as part of their service offering. 
  • The Matrix standard is the Department for Education’s (DfE) standard for ensuring that the quality of the delivery of high-quality information, advice and guidance.  The DfE supports the Matrix standard as the quality framework for accrediting information, advice and guidance contracts including the National Careers Service, it’s subcontractors and other services delivered on behalf of the Education Skills Funding Agency.
  • The Matrix standard helps providers to improve their services by benchmarking against best practice and it offers accreditation to those that meet the full standard.

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