Learners at Preston’s College are piloting a 40-day work experience initiative with some of the City’s best-known companies.

The Challenge’ and the ‘Department for Education’ are working with Preston’s College to launch the Work Placements programme giving 16-19 year old Level 3 Technical Education students a valuable opportunity to put their learning into practice.

The initiative will respond to local economic needs, giving the next generation of young people the skills, knowledge and experience to be work ready – helping to underpin the College’s ethos of making learners the most employable.

A number of the College’s learners are set to participate in the Work Placement initiative this academic year, with companies including: Safran Narcelles, Ruttle Plant Hire, Preston Bus, Stagecoach, Peugeot, ADI UK and United Utilities.

Learners will be able to make the most of benefits and opportunities on offer such as: developing the knowledge and skills relevant to their course and future career, having a greater understanding of what it is like to work in their chosen industry as well as receiving coaching and mentoring from a line manager.

Stagecoach are one of the City’s companies who have already signed up for the opportunity to work with the College’s learners.

Tony Cockcroft, Engineering Director at Stagecoach said: “Stagecoach Merseyside & South Lancashire are delighted to be working in partnership with The Challenge and Preston’s College to enable students studying automotive technology to have real life working experience at our Preston Depot.

Students will be able to put into practice their theoretical knowledge whilst being trained by Stagecoach Technicians. This will not only boost the confidence and abilities of students, but will affirm what an excellent and rewarding career choice the automotive industry is.

Students will take part in vehicle inspection, MOT preparation, diagnosing complex faults using state of the art computer equipment as well as discovering body work craftsmanship.

The vehicle maintenance industry has evolved dramatically over the past ten years and continues to present new technological challenges, it is absolutely vital that we embrace the changes and prepare our work forces for the future, this partnership will put students and our business in a strong position to rise up to the challenge ”

Lis Smith, Preston’s College Principal and Chief Executive, added: “The pilot will give Preston’s College learners real exposure to the world of work and the experiences needed to complement their qualification which can then be used to increase opportunities into employment and university.  It very much supports our mission of making our learners the most employable.”

If you are a local company and would like the opportunity to take on a Preston’s College learner across a range of industries, please contact Progression and Employability Advisor, Paula Askew, on 01772 225 455 or email paskew@preston.ac.uk.