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Career Breaks Are the New Norm – So Why Are They Still Stigmatised?

When we think of career breaks, motherhood tends to spring to mind. But there are many other reasons why people take timeImage result for career breaks off work, and getting back in isn’t always easy.

Geoff was 44 when he found himself faced with a difficult decision: to leave his 30-year coal mining career behind him and retrain, or to continue doing what he knew best. He was at this crossroads because his 11-year-old daughter was concerned that he was putting himself in danger each day; she was scared of losing her dad. She didn’t know it, but her fear was very much grounded in reality. Mining has the third highest fatality rate of any industry. It now claims the lives of nine workers on average each year, and that number was even higher when Geoff was working in the industry.

With his daughter’s concerns front of mind, he decided to take a leap of faith and retrain as a teacher. Following two years of accelerated study, he found himself in a position where he was entering a new industry for the first time in over three decades. Read more

Case Study: Walsall College and the matrix Standard
August 8, 2018

Walsall College’s Careers Guidance Service is free and available to all students and prospective students.  

Students and prospective students can access the Careers Guidance Service in many different ways i.e. by telephone, face to face and e-guidance. There is also a dedicated Careers Centre located on the ground floor in the Atrium where we operate a Quick Queries Drop-in service for current students on a daily basis. The college provides an extensive vocational provision for students aged from 14 years old and over to no upper age limit.

The Senior Management and Curriculum team are all fully aware of the Careers Guidance Service and curriculum staff actively encourage students to attend or take part in activities or refer students to the Careers Team for further support, when they have surpassed their expertise.

A Whole College Approach

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Pizza Hut Case Study – A Reminder: Degree Apprentices
June 5, 2018

Pizza Hut’s first cohort of degree apprentices (2017) gives an insight into just how beneficial the programmes are.

The first candidates of Pizza Hut Restaurants’ ground-breaking degree level apprenticeship programme are forging ahead with their career ambitions after successfully completing their first year on the course.

Emily Bell, James Mann, Holly Humphrey, Aaron Oreschnick and Anchit Mahajan have mastered skills in leadership and business whilst completing on the job training with Pizza Hut Restaurants.

Now moving into their second year, the group will delve deeper into the world of hospitality and business by completing modules in sales and marketing, operations and technology management and customer and stakeholder relations.

The group will also complete a second negotiated work-based project where they will be required to evaluate business scenarios and challenges from their own role.

The four-year degree level apprenticeship, which is a first for the hospitality industry, is delivered in partnership with Manchester Metropolitan University and offers people an opportunity to study for a BA (Hons) business management degree whilst receiving on the job training at their local Pizza Hut.

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AELP Guidance for Providers
May 11, 2018

This document has been produced by AELP as a guide to help providers and employers understand and work to the current ESFA funding rules on planning and delivering a minimum of 20% off-the-job training (OTJT).

Both the ESFA and DfE have seen this guidance and provided feedback during its development.


FE News Article: Leading Training Provider Celebrate matrix Standard Achievement
April 6, 2018

The following press release written by CT Skills has been published in FE News. If you want to share your matrix achievements with a wider audience then email your story, press release or case study to matrix@assessmentservices.com

East Midlands based Training Provider; CT Skills has successfully been re-accredited the matrix Standard in recognition of the hard work and dedication their employees continuously put in to making learners, employers and partners feel valued and informed.

The matrix assessment took place across three days with visits at the company’s Head Office based in Nottingham along with a visit to their additional centre’s in Nottingham City Centre, Derby and Mansfield.

In total the visit concluded with 22 staff members individually interviewed, 12 telephone interviews with work-based learners and 12 face-to-face interviews with classroom based learners, as well as general reviews of the CT Skills website, social media accounts and performance monitoring data.

The re-accreditation highlighted CT Skills mission to encourage learners at each stage of their journey with a main focus on providing learners with advice and guidance right from enrolment to post-completion. Read more

Steve Croke – A TUC Case Study
February 9, 2018
Steve Croke left school with no qualifications. Today, he’s a lead union learning rep for the Communication Workers Union (CWU) – with a degree in Trade Union and Labour Studies.

How long have you been a member of the CWU? I joined the CWU the day I joined the Royal Mail, 28 years ago. I went from being a member, to a political officer, to a parliamentary election agent, to legal services secretary – to where I am today, the lead union learning rep – a ULR – for the South Midlands Postal Branch.

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Case Study: Meet the Award-Winning Centennial Entrepreneur
December 16, 2017

He started his business journey aged eleven. Now nineteen, he’s an acclaimed entrepreneur, investor, speaker and mentor. Meet Ben Towers.

Centennials. The latest buzzword in the business world. As businesses gain an understanding of this generation and prepare for their arrival in the workplace, Centennials are often labelled as the new wave of employees. However, growing up in a digital landscape, their ability to use technology comes as naturally to them as breathing, which means, not only do they have the skills to be disruptive employees, but to be innovative employers too.

The perfect example of this is Ben Towers. When he was only thirteen years old, he founded his first digital marketing company, Towers Design. After completing a multi-million-pound merger earlier this year, he left the organisation in September and is now focusing on his role as CEO of Social Marley, a social media management tool. His remarkable achievements have not gone unnoticed; Ben has won multiple awards and has been named by Sir Richard Branson as “one of the UK’s most exciting entrepreneurs”.

Your Ready Business spoke to Ben about his experience as a young entrepreneur and how, despite his age (or because of it), he has driven himself and his businesses to success.
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Executive MBAs – A Worthwhile Investment or Mid-Life Crisis?!
November 20, 2017

The Globe’s business-school news roundup – a case study by Jennifer Lewington

When Tharani Napper enrolled in a 15-month executive MBA, which requires studying for a degree while working, her colleagues and business clients told her she was, in her words, “crazy.”

After all, the 36-year-old married mother of two young daughters is enjoying a successful career as a pharmaceutical industry consultant. But the St. Catharines, Ont., resident decided she wanted to grow professionally without leaving her employer, Pivina Consulting Inc., where she is director of market access.


She says her boss, Pivina managing director Colin Vicente, quizzed her on what she would get out of the program given she has an undergraduate degree in biochemistry and a minor in business from McMaster University in Hamilton.

“I said I want to take my business acumen to a different level and I want to give better consulting services to our clients,” she recalls. “I feel like I have hit the top right now.” 

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JCB’S £7.5 Million Young Talent Investment Scheme Creates 170 Jobs
September 1, 2017

JCB has announced the recruitment of almost 170 apprentices and graduates as the company steps up investment in its Young Talent programme to record levels.  

This year, the Staffordshire-based company is ploughing £7.5 million into recruiting young people into the business to help meet future growth – triple the amount invested in the scheme when it started four years ago.

Of the 168 people who are joining JCB, a total of 117 are apprentices – the biggest ever single intake of apprentices in the 71-year history of JCB.

A number will be higher apprentices who will go on to take degrees, learning while they earn and avoiding the need to incur costly student loans. The apprentices started work this week.

It brings the amount the company has invested in its Young Talent programme over the past four years to £20 million – an initiative which has seen around 550 graduates and engineers join the business.

The news comes as JCB prepares to open up applications for its 2018 programme on Monday, 2nd October.

JCB Chairman Lord Bamford started his career as an engineering apprentice in 1962 before joining JCB in 1964.

He said: “Young people are the future of our company and investing in young talent is vit

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A-level Results: Why Getting A University Place Isn’t The Only Option
August 22, 2017

This article of mini casestudies may be of help if supporting individuals decide what career route they take post A levels.

Thousands of sixth-form students across England are getting their A-level results.

If you didn’t get what you wanted, it can be a really stressful day. But these teenagers have found other ways around not getting the grades they wanted from clearing, to apprenticeships and taking a gap year.

‘A-levels are a lot harder than I thought’ – Kevin, 19, went through clearing

“I got my offers rejected which meant I could start the application process again.

“I rang up different universities and asked to speak to their head of science and eventually Hull offered me a place.

“It’s never too late to apply, you can apply up until October for a place. The whole process took about four days to get everything sorted.

“A lot of people get their results, burst in to tears and panic. Don’t tell anyone your results until you’ve accepted them yourself.

“If you cry, or you shout, it won’t change your results.

“Have in the back of your head that it’s not the end. There are other options.”

‘I thought university was the only way forward’ – Aisha, 19, trained through an apprenticeship scheme

“I decided I wanted to go to uni and had accepted an offer, but then I thought, ‘I don’t want to do this, I don’t think it’s going to get me places.’

“I found what’s called a fast track apprenticeship through the civil service. They have five different schemes – I chose the business one. Read more