Reading College, the Thames Valley’s leading further and higher education college, has announced the launch of its Peter Jones Enterprise Academy for students wanting to study enterprise and entrepreneurship.
The new Enterprise and Entrepreneurship BTEC programme is designed for ambitious young entrepreneurs who want to run their own businesses. It has been developed in partnership with the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy and in consultation with entrepreneurs, business people, experienced teachers and learners, and is equivalent to two A-levels.
Since the Oxford and Cherwell Valley College (OCVC) group took charge of Reading College in 2010, developing the employability of students whilst delivering skills for local business growth has been high on its agenda. The College has forged close relationships with a number of businesses throughout the Thames Valley so it can help students achieve a range of nationally-recognised qualifications while gaining valuable experience of the workplace. Over 300 people currently participate in apprenticeship programmes via Reading College across 150 different employers.
Attending the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy at Reading College will feel more like going into the workplace than attending college. Students wearing smart business dress, will attend five days a week, participating in lectures, workshops, networking events and hands-on enterprise activities. They will interact with both national and local entrepreneurs while working on a range of business challenges.
This year, the college will run 50 apprenticeship programmes in total – many of which are supported by local, forward-thinking IT companies. For students interested in computing, a range of roles is available including software/web developer, network engineer and network planner. Other apprenticeships are available across a wide range of vocational areas.
Lesley Donoghue, principal of Reading College, commented: “We are delighted to continue Reading College’s tradition of offering high-quality vocational training to the local area. As university tuition fees rise and the competition for graduate level employment intensifies, it’s important that students feel they have an alternative route into work or higher education. The Peter Jones Enterprise Academy will only improve the employability of our pupils due to its practical nature and close links with local businesses. I’m proud that Reading College’s apprenticeships regularly produce high success rates, well in advance of national average performance.”
Resources: Reading College Peter Jones webpage