Hertfordshire business leaders have named The Astley Cooper School top for Education in Employment in the County. The school’s Pre-Apprenticeship Programme that teaches Year 12 students all they need to know to be great employees received the honour at the Chamber of Commerce annual awards ceremony held in St Albans Cathedral on Thursday 13 June. The Inspiring Herts Gala, attended by a thousand business luminaires from companies across the region, celebrates the contribution they make to the county’s economy.
Astley Cooper proudly carried off The Education in Employment Award that recognises the pioneering work some educational institutions do to turn out work-ready young people who are equipped with the skills to dive right into the adult world. The judges singled out the Astley Cooper Programme for ‘its progressive approach to vocational education, its impressive business contacts and the clear impression that everyone involved goes above and beyond to change the lives of the young people on the course.’
The Pre-Apprenticeship Programme is unique in the South of England. It combines classroom study for three BTECs in work-related skills with a six-month two day a week work placement. The aim is to help the students win high quality apprenticeships and boost them into a great career. This year’s graduates have secured apprentice jobs in Human Resources, Business Administration, Plumbing, Hospitality and Social Care.
The course depends on the generosity of the school’s partners from the local business community who are prepared to dedicate resources and staff to helping our young people, reach thier goals. These civic-minded heroes include SWR, Quantum Care, Atlas Copco, The Marlowes, RSK, APEX 360, The Willow Foundation, Osborne, Dacorum Music School, Robert Dyas and Phoenix Property Services.
Assistant Headteacher at The Astley Cooper School, Tom Lally, receiving the award, said, ‘The course is inspirational, it transforms the lives of our young people. It’s our aim to spread this opportunity across Dacorum starting with an advert in the Gazette on GCSE results day August 22. Any employers who want to become part of our award-winning story should get in touch with us today.’