Widening Participation Programmes

Widening Participation to higher education is a strategic priority for the UK government and the higher education sector in general. Widening Participation Programmes aim to address the discrepancies in the take-up of higher education opportunities between different social groups. At Connell Sixth Form College we are committed to the following Widening Participation Programmes:

The Career Ready Programme

This programme launched at Connell in September 2016, as part of a nationwide scheme which helps to raise the aspirations of students intending to follow careers in areas such as, Business, Computing, Finance & Economics, and Construction. This is achieved by working in partnership with local employers.

Students joining the Connell Career Ready Programme benefit from:

  • A 4-6 week, paid internship with a local employer during the summer or other dedicated weeks throughout the year.
  • Special employer-led lectures, seminars and company visits.
  • One-to-one mentoring by an experienced industry-based volunteer.
  • Networking opportunities with other Career Ready students around the UK.

If your organisation can offer support for our Career Ready students by offering internships or by being professional mentors, please contact our Careers Advisor, Maureen Thompson, at mthompson@csfc.bfet.uk or on 0161 231 9200.

The Career Ready Programme is broken down into 4 key areas:

1) Master Classes

The master classes are delivered by employer volunteers. By sharing their business expertise and experiences, Master class deliverers complement other teaching resources, enhance the knowledge of Career Ready students and help to ground the curriculum in the real – and current – world of work.

2) Summer Internships

The ‘jewel in the crown’ of the Career Ready model is the internship, which takes place in the summer between the two years of the course. Employers provide ideally a four-six week paid work placement, based on a standard working hour week in a real operating environment and aiming to use the skills and knowledge the student has learned in college.

3) Mentors

Partners in Business are industry-based volunteers who provide Career Ready students with one-to-one support with coursework and life skills. They act as a role model, critical friend and advisor. Partners in Business meet their student about 8-10 times over 18 months. Each meeting lasts approximately an hour and a half and is an opportunity to help the student:

  • Reflect on recent coursework; reinforcing classroom learning with real life examples
  • Expand their understanding of industry culture and workplace etiquette
  • Practise employability skills such as time management, problem solving, CV writing or interview techniques
  • Widen their network of industry contacts for the future.

4) Work place visits, seminars and workshops

What makes the Career Ready Programme come alive for students, apart from excellent teaching, is the input they receive from a range of employer-led visits and seminars, related to course content. Topic possibilities are virtually endless. Recent sessions have included corporate social responsibility, world trade and economics, an introduction to financial law and CV writing. In the past 2 years, students have been able to visit the offices of KPMG, BT, EY, Accenture, and of construction giants such as ISG, Morgan Sindall, Turner Townsend, Arcadis and Wates. The Programme is ever-expanding and continues to create outstanding opportunities for our young people.

Manchester Access Programme (MAP)

MAP is a structured scheme for local post-16 students who meet specific academic and background criteria. The aim of the programme is to support entry to Manchester, or to another research-intensive university, through the completion of a portfolio of work demonstrating specific knowledge and skills.

The scheme gives students the opportunity to show their potential through a varied programme of activities, including:

  • a series of personal development/skills workshops;
  • a two-day University Life Conference;
  • one-to-one UCAS application guidance interviews with University staff.

Students also complete an academic assignment under the guidance of an academic tutor at the University, which helps to develop the skills required for university study and provides an excellent opportunity to demonstrate the potential for success in HE.

All students who successfully complete the Manchester Access Programme also benefit from:

  • individual support through the UCAS application process;
  • up to two A-level or equivalent grade reduction towards their University of Manchester offer;
  • an Undergraduate Access Scholarship depending on their household income if they progress on to study at The University of Manchester.

We target students using criteria related to academic potential and measures of under-representation in higher education

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0161 231 9200