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Reading, UK, 13 September 2012 – Reading College, the Thames Valley’s leading further and higher education College, today announced the launch of its Peter Jones Enterprise Academy for students wanting to study Enterprise and Entrepreneurship. Additionally, the College has also released details of the apprenticeship programmes available for the 2012-2013 academic year.

Since the Oxford and Cherwell Valley College (OCVC) group took charge of Reading College in 2010, developing the employability of students whilst delivering skills for local business growth has been high on its agenda. The College has forged close relationships with a number of businesses throughout the Thames Valley so it can help students achieve a range of nationally recognised qualifications while gaining valuable experience of the workplace. Over 300 people currently participate in apprenticeship programmes via Reading College across 150 different employers.

The College is pleased to announce the launch of its new Enterprise and Entrepreneurship BTEC programme. This exciting, new course is designed for ambitious young entrepreneurs who want to run their own business. It has been developed in partnership with the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy and in consultation with entrepreneurs, business people, experienced teachers and learners. It is equivalent to 2 A-levels.

Attending the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy at Reading College will feel more like going into the workplace than attending college. Students wearing smart business dress, will attend 5 days a week, participating in lectures, workshops, networking events and hands-on enterprise activities. They will interact with both national and local entrepreneurs while working on a range of business challenges. By the end of the course, students will be well placed to progress with the further development of their micro start-up or progress on to a business qualification in higher education such as the College’s foundation degree in Business and Enterprise.

This year the College will run 50 apprenticeship programmes in total. Forward thinking local IT companies support many of these schemes. For students interested in computing, a range of interesting roles are available including Software/ Web Developer, Network Engineer and Network Planner. They provide students with great opportunities to enter an exciting industry and start building a career. Other apprenticeships are available across a wide range of vocational areas including contemporary subjects such as Customer Service to more traditional apprenticeships in trades such as Plumbing.

Lesley Donoghue, Principal of Reading College comments: “We are delighted to continue Reading College’s tradition of offering high quality vocational training to the local area. As university tuition fees rise and the competition for graduate level employment intensifies, it’s important that students feel they have an alternative route into work or higher education. The Peter Jones Enterprise Academy will only improve the employability of our pupils due to its practical nature and close links with local businesses. I’m proud that Reading College’s apprenticeships regularly produce high success rates, well in advance of national average performance”

For more information on the apprenticeships offered at Reading College please visit: http://www.reading-college.ac.uk/Apprenticeships or contact the Employer Services team on 0845 467 6068 or employer-enquiries@reading-college.ac.uk. For more information on the Peter Jones Academy at Reading College please visit: http://www.reading-college.ac.uk/PeterJones

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About Reading College

Reading College is the further education college located at the edge of Reading town centre. With over 6,000 students on over 900 courses, the College offers a wide choice of full-time, part-time, higher education and work-based courses for people in Reading and the surrounding areas. Reading College is committed to raising skills levels in the region and to developing highly employable people for all sectors. More information about Reading College and the courses on offer can be found at: www.reading-college.ac.uk

Media Contact:

Peter Beck
C8 Consulting Ltd
peter@c8consulting.co.uk
+44 118 900 1133

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