Cambridge Regional College (CRC) is playing a significant part in encouraging high quality graduates to consider exploring a career in teaching Further Education through an innovative partnership project with the Education and Training Foundation and local universities.

The ‘Further Pathways to FE’ scheme aims to raise awareness of Further Education teaching as a career option amongst final year undergraduates and post graduates. The initiative is being managed on behalf of the Education and Training Foundation by Cognition Education, who are placing a minimum of 240 graduates in and around London, Bristol, Birmingham, Manchester, Leicester and Cambridge.

The key aim of the project is to raise the profile of Further Education, particularly amongst final year under-graduates and post-graduates. The original concept was to generate interest in Further Education as a career option and establish new pipelines of talent for entry to the sector; encouraging careers and employability teams to promote opportunities and support colleges with the recruitment of new staff.

On Monday 11th June 2018, 14 graduates attended Cambridge Regional College to begin a holistic working and teaching training week, where they would go on to amass over 40 hours of demonstrable work experience. Many of the graduates had limited knowledge of Further Education prior to attending and had therefore not previously considered teaching in the sector as a viable career option. Previously completing a range of undergraduate and Master’s degrees in subjects such as Intercultural Communications, Crime and Investigative studies, Law, Politics and History; all of the attendees studied at universities in the local region including Anglia Ruskin, Bedford and the University of Essex.

The programme has been targeted at graduates from across all academic disciplines, in the hope that experiencing working at vibrant institutions such as Cambridge Regional College will inspire attendees to continue considering FE career options, with the added benefit that some may return to their placement provider to teach and/or complete a teaching qualification in the future.

Kevin Sumner, Initial Teacher Training Lead, is coordinating the project on behalf of Cambridge Regional College. He said, “This is a fantastic opportunity for local graduates to experience the rich variety of rewarding work that goes on at Cambridge Regional College and to work alongside dedicated professionals to get genuine work experience in the Further Education sector. We want to provide 3rd year under-graduates and post-graduates with the skills and knowledge they need to pursue a career in Further Education and increase their employability skills. We are happy to be playing a role in developing stronger links between Further Education and Higher Education Institutions.”

Inspiring the potential next generation of FE teachers represents the latest in a line of successes Cambridge Regional College has achieved in recent times. Key performance figures released recently place it first in the country (out of 198 colleges) in 19+ GCSE Maths A* - C pass rates. A centre of vocational excellence, Cambridge Regional College continues to grow and expand its role as a major seat of learning in the East of England.

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