How Oldham College is helping to 'build the future'

Oldham College is showcasing 'work ready' learners whose career hopes have been put on hold by Covid-19 to mark National Apprenticeship Week this week. 

The Further Education provider has around 150 young people currently itching to start apprenticeships with local employers across a range of sectors – including construction, health and social care, IT, digital, management and many more.

It will be sharing daily video case studies across its social media channels to attract potential employers this week. These feature just a handful of the brilliant local talents whose career hopes have been stalled by the economic impact of the pandemic.

The Rochdale Road college is also launching a 'Build The Future' apprenticeships campaign, reaching out to invite local employers to make a pledge and give a young person a chance to launch their career.

With more than 800 apprentices already learning across over 600 local companies, the college's apprentices' results rank second across Greater Manchester, and Employer Satisfaction is 93 per cent.

The campaign is also launching as the government is offering unprecedented financial incentives to hire apprentices before 31 March. Any firm who hires an apprentice before then can claim £2,000 for each apprentice aged 16-24; and for one aged 25 or over they can claim £1,500. This is in addition to the £1,000 firms already get for taking an apprentice aged either 16 to 18, or under 25 and has an EHCP (Education, Health and Care Plan), or has been in local authority care. 

Alun Francis, Oldham College Principal and Chief Executive, said: “National Apprenticeship Week has never been more important than it is in 2021.

“The pandemic has hit every employer’s bottom line and made apprenticeship placements harder to find. That has unfairly hurt young people and adults seeking apprenticeships – and yet their skills and development are vital to the economic recovery we need to see.

“Apprenticeships are ‘win win’ for everyone. They give students a life-changing opportunity of hands-on experience and theoretical learning to get industry-recognised qualifications and the skills employers really need. They have a hugely positive impact on communities and the local economy and can help businesses adapt and build after a difficult year by providing additional productivity, competitiveness and skills in a cost-effective way.

“Increasing numbers of learners are starting to see college-based and apprenticeship pathways as the best route to high-skilled and fulfilling jobs – and that means we’ll need even more opportunities with local employers.

“Younger generations shouldn’t be disproportionately affected by COVID-19 just as they are starting out, so Oldham College’s team is here and ready to help local businesses every step of the way in recruiting the right person with minimum fuss and maximum benefit.”

Any firm interested in a candidate they see on the Oldham College case studies this week should contact Linda Stokes, Employer Engagement and Recruitment Manager by emailing or calling 0161 785 5450.

Other employers wanting to learn more about recruiting an apprentice – or to sign our Build The Future pledge – should visit

Local schools can also sign up Year 10 and 11 students at that webpage to attend one of the daily online ‘What Is An Apprenticeship?’ sessions which Oldham College is hosting this week.

Current college learners will also benefit from National Apprenticeship Week by enjoying talks from local firms: including Megan Rafferty who will explain her career path from apprentice to salon owner, and then to winning last year’s ‘Employer of the Year’ award from Oldham College.


Main image:

Caitlin Goulden, a Design, Surveying and Planning student at Oldham College, who is currently an apprentice with Willmott Dixon.


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