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Furness College’s CORE programme puts students back on track

A programme run by Furness College with a new approach to education has helped dozens of people find work or take on new qualifications in its first year of operation.

Creating Opportunities for Real Education (CORE) launched at College House, Barrow, in September last year and has seen 50 people through its doors.

CORE aims to support students who struggle in a traditional college environment and give them the skills and confidence to progress into the workplace.

Head of Quality Improvement at Furness College Mark Preston, who oversees the programme, said they are now looking to further grow the programme with spaces still available for young people (16-18) who have not yet found a place in education or are considering a change in their career or choice of college.

“We’re delighted with the success of the first year with Furness College,” he said. “Our programme ensures students have the practical skills they need to be ready for the workplace and is targeted to those who are not confident in a typical school or work environment.”

Ami France, operations manager at CORE, said: “We aim to ensure our students progress and provide tailored support for learning and personal development to help the student achieve their own goals. The whole team has worked so hard and it’s great to see this pay off with students getting the jobs they want and deserve.”

Students at CORE do not need any previous qualification and the courses are free with weekly enrolments so they can start at any time. The ethos is on friendly teaching and building skills alongside a work experience opportunity and students learn 3 to 4 days a week.

Ami added: “It gives many young people a second chance. We worked with a student who’d had a bad experience at school, was excluded and finished his education with Drop Zone,” she said. “At CORE, we changed the approach to his learning, focussed on personal and social development and his behaviour and welfare. He became an outstanding student, completing work to deadlines and peer mentoring and has now joining the Army’s Royal Infantry.”

She said another student had been home educated after leaving school early and with support from CORE and her family, she has now got fantastic GCSE grades in her English and maths and has successfully progressed to Barrow Sixth Form to study Health and Social Care.

Alongside work in the classroom, CORE students work with the community to develop their skills towards employment or developing them further in vocational training.

The students have taken part in a number of successful community projects including working with Love Barrow Families to revamp Lawson Street Park and supporting Drop Zone’s Furness Forward Fest summer activity programme.

For more information about CORE, check the website https://www.furness.ac.uk/core/

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