University Centre tackles skills gap by expanding teacher training opportunities

Hopwood Hall College and University Centre is tackling the skills gap head-on by expanding its opportunities in teacher training. 

Its Higher Education branch will further establish its reputation as a hub for career changers when it offers the Level 5 Diploma in Education and Training from September 2021. 

This much-anticipated course will equip people with the skills and qualifications to launch themselves into a position in a classroom environment. 

Over the years many vocational specialists have undertaken similar training to transition into teaching, including 47-year-old Kelly Hilton from Oldham. 

The mum-of-one worked as a nurse for 25 years before completing the Level 4 Certificate in Education and Training at Hopwood Hall in 2020. 

She’s now embarking on an exciting new career and has already been offered a role as a lecturer at the University of Huddersfield. 

Kelly’s success comes as a new report outlines how teaching roles are dominating the local job market. 

According to GMCA Skills Intelligence, education-related positions were the most prevalent posts being advertised in Rochdale between November 2020 and January 2021. 

In January alone there were more than 100 roles up for grabs. 

Alongside the well-established Level 3 and Level 4 qualifications, the Level 5 is the next progression in teacher training. 

It is a two-year, part-time course designed to catapult students into a career teaching in Further Education. 

Its launch comes as a recent government white paper, titled Skills For Jobs, proposed billions of pounds of investment into the sector and a renewed emphasis on technical education. 

Hopwood Hall is confident that this will allow graduates to continue to secure a wide range of advantageous teaching roles in the years to come. 

Julia Heap, Principal and CEO of Hopwood Hall College, said:  

“The education sector is famously robust and can provide life-long careers. 

“We’re delighted to offer people a chance to gain the qualifications that will help them to switch careers at a time when there’s so much investment on the horizon. 

“I’d certainly encourage anyone with a skills-based background to consider the rewards of stepping into the classroom and teaching their craft.” 

Kelly Hilton said:  

“If you’re interested in teaching, these courses build your confidence and prepare you to enter a brand new career. 

“My course was open to individuals from a broad range of trades and it was fun meeting people from all walks of life. 

 “I’d spent 25 years in nursing and found this course to be the perfect stepping-stone into teaching in the field of health and social care.” 

Angie Simms, Teacher Training Coordinator at Hopwood Hall College, said: 

“If you’re a hairdresser, a plumber, a nurse or work in any number of skilled professions, now’s your chance to turn your passion into a career in teaching. 

“It’s as easy as starting on our fully-funded Level 3 qualification, which takes just 12 weeks to complete.  

“This will open up fresh employment opportunities and may allow you to progress naturally onto the Level 4 and Level 5 pathways.”


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