From education to employment

Tresham College teams up with Rushden Lakes and Jobcentre Plus

L-R Front Row : Tina Pratt - Rushden Jobcentre Workplace Coordinator, Maxine Reed - Course Tutor and Cheryl Needham – Tresham College Head of Adult and Foundation Learning with their latest group of students.

Jobs creation at major retail park – recruitment success at Rushden Lakes. 

Tresham College, the provider of higher education and apprenticeships which is now part of The Bedford College Group, has teamed up with Rushden Lakes and the local Jobcentre Plus to create a series of courses aimed at preparing people for working life.

Hosted at Rushden Lakes, and delivered by employment experts at Jobcentre Plus with support from the Recruit Rushden Lakes initiative, the training courses and advice sessions were designed to support candidates as they prepare for the world of work.

The free courses gave students hands-on customer service training, alongside personalised CV guidance and advice for interviews. More than 20 people have already completed the new courses, with many going on to jobs in the region and some even gaining employment with the retailers and restaurants of Rushden Lakes.

Cheryl Needham, Head of Adult and Foundation Learning at Tresham College, said: “From the training on customer service best practice and how to handle issues, to making sure a CV is up to scratch and highlighting an individual’s particular skills, we’re pleased that we’re able to play a vital role in helping prepare the next generation of workers.”

Paul Rich, Centre Manager at Rushden Lakes, added: “By working closely with employers, college staff and students, we’re able to better understand the challenges faced by candidates and employers alike, and our Recruit Rushden Lakes can develop solutions to help overcome them.”

Former students, Sam Burke and James Dunn, have already set sail on their own outdoor adventure careers having joined the Canoe2 team at Rushden Lakes. The pair completed their outdoor training at Shuttleworth College, also part of The Bedford College Group, which provides training for careers in outdoor and rural pursuits. They are now overseeing water-based activities for Canoe2 at the stunning lakeside setting of Rushden Lakes.

About the Bedford College Group: With 20,000 students and 1,000 staff, the Bedford College Group has a relationship with thousands of businesses across the South East Midlands area. It is the number 1 ranked FE College in the region and the 12th largest in the UK. Anyone over 16 seeking an apprenticeship, or access to Further and Higher (degree level) education, or wanting to upgrade their skills, can visit  or 

About Rushden Lakes: The first of its kind in the UK, Rushden Lakes is a new shopping and leisure destination for Northamptonshire. It brings together the very best in retail, leisure and dining within the unique setting of over 200 acres of protected Nene Wetlands reserve, situated beside the stunning lakes. 

Rushden Lakes offers a premium shopping experience; with more than 40 retailers, including House of Fraser’s flagship new store, and a variety of restaurants and cafés with stunning lakeside views, alongside a pedestrianised boardwalk which runs the length of the shoreline. 

Rushden Lakes also provides a range of free and paid for leisure activities including walking, canoeing and cycling, set against a backdrop of beautiful natural countryside. Wildlife discovery and bird watching is supported by The Wildlife Trust’s visitor centre, with boat and canoe hire offered by local experts Canoe2.

About Recruit Regional: Recruit is an employment and training initiative created by The Crown Estate. This successful employment programme has placed more than 1,700 people into employment over the last decade. Many of the people placed by Recruit have been through tough times, such as long-term unemployment or homelessness. By giving people the confidence and skills they need to get back to work, Recruit helps people make a positive change in their lives, while also helping local businesses staff their teams and boosting the local economy.  Initially founded in central London, it is now established in four further locations; Recruit Rushden Lakes in Northamptonshire, Recruit Crowngate in Worcester, Recruit Princesshay in Exeter and Recruit Fosse in Leicester.

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