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Students in Yeovil will be among the first in the country to benefit from a pioneering new Career College, which launches in September.

The Career College, which will specialise in health and social care, is a joint venture between Yeovil College and Yeovil Hospital.

It will offer students between 16 and 19 years of age the chance to practise vocational learning alongside the academic curriculum, ensuring students get a rounded education relevant to their preferred sector of industry.

Part of a national movement, the Career College is one of ten newly approved Colleges opening their doors to students over the next year, including the country’s first in construction, healthcare, digital and professional services.

New research released today by the Career Colleges Trust (19 August) shows that students believe schools are still too focused on exam results and are not doing enough to equip them for the workplace.

The research questioned both secondary school aged students and their parents and saw 76 per cent of pupils say that their school trains them just to pass exams, rather than preparing them for the world of work. A striking 80 per cent think the education system should be more career-focused.

John Evans, Principal of Yeovil College, said of the launch:
“We are hugely excited to be among the first Career Colleges in the country. Our country is facing a huge skills gap across many industries and this research highlights the extent of this problem. We need to ensure that young people are equipped with the skills they need to go into the workplace with confidence.

We are working closely with Yeovil Hospital to design a curriculum so that we can give students a chance to learn relevant skills and get an insight into the real work of work.”

Paul Mears, Chief Executive of Yeovil Hospital, added:
“The greatest strength of any hospital is its staff, and our Career College partnership with Yeovil College provides us with an innovative opportunity to address our evolving workforce needs. Working together we will provide bespoke vocational and academic education which equips local young people with the skills and real-life experience they need to succeed and provide exceptional care in the NHS of tomorrow”.

The new colleges will join the two that opened September 2014 – Bromley’s Hospitality, Food and Enterprise Career College and Hugh Baird’s Hospitality and Visitor Economy Career College. Both these pioneering projects are thriving and will be accepting their second cohorts of students in September.

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This post was written by Helen Stobbs

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