Northern Regional College has hosted a series of events to celebrate the achievements of the College’s inclusive learning students.
Seventy students who completed full-time or part-time inclusive learning courses in Ballymena and their guests attended the special celebration event in the Lamont Building.
Northern Regional College offers a wide range of full time and part-time inclusive learning courses which allow students to achieve entry level awards in ICT, Literacy, Numeracy, Cookery and Independent Travel. The full-time inclusive learning programmes at the College include Route2work, Aspire2work and Transition2College and are designed to help prepare students for the world of work or as a stepping stone to help them progress to other further education courses.
The students work towards achieving certificates in Essential skills (ICT, Application of Number and Communication); Employability; and Social Media. They also receive training in a range of vocational areas, including catering, horticulture, housekeeping and administration.
The College’s Lifeskills and Horizons programmes are delivered on a part-time basis, allowing students to divide their time between attending College and their workplace. The inclusive learning programmes are all tailored to allow students to grow in confidence by building on their existing skills or helping them to develop new skills and students cover a range of different subject areas, depending on their individual needs, abilities and interests.
As an integral part of the programme, full-time inclusive learning students complete a placement with a local employer. Last year on completion of their course, over 95% of inclusive learning students at Northern Regional College were either offered jobs with their placement employer or they were able to progress to other further education courses at the College.
Antrim Area Hospital, Wilson’s of Rathkenny and The Adair Arms Hotel provided placement opportunities for students, enabling them to complete their NOCN Level 1 Award in Skills for Employment, Training and Personal Development. With the support of the local Danske Bank, the students also completed OCN NI Level 1 Award in Managing Personal Finances. During the year, students visited a number of local businesses to help complete units like Problem Solving and Health and Safety in the Workplace for the OCN NI Level 2 Certificate in Vocational Skills.
The College’s inclusive learning programmes have helped many of the students to gain the skills and experience needed for paid employment.
Ethan McAuley and Jack Williams attended the College in Ballymena and successfully completed the Aspire2work, WorkReady and Tranistion2Work programmes. Ethan and Jack are now both doing continuing with further education and have part-time paid work with Dale Farm and Tesco in Antrim respectively.
Stuart Shaw from Cullybackey, who was awarded a Life Skills Certificate of Achievement at the presentation, has been a student at Northern Regional College since 2015. He spends two days a week at the College and has a part-time job with Starbucks.
Welcoming the students and their guests to the event at the College’s Ballymena, Aaron Ballantyne, Head of School of Science and Services Industries and Learning, congratulated the students for all their hard work and commitment and acknowledged the support of their families and College staff, as well as local businesses who work in partnership with the College to facilitate placements for the students.
He said: “The strong partnership between the students and their families, the College, and local employers creates a positive learning environment where all students are supported to develop new skills and consolidate their existing skills to grow in confidence and reach their full potential.”