Supporting apprenticeships at Bedford College

Connolly Foundation UK is giving more than £75,000 to The Bedford College Group to support the training of nursing and care staff.

Vital staff who can work in nursing, care homes, or look after those living independently, are needed now more than ever before.

To encourage people to join these and similar professions, the Connolly Foundation is offering 56 bursaries of up to £500 plus another £50,000 towards equipping the training facilities.

The project was under consideration before the Covid crisis, but that has now made this an even more critical career sector.

Students eligible for the funds will include those aged 16+ starting new T-Level full time courses in Health and Science from September 2021.

A T-level is equivalent to 3 A Levels but also includes 315 work experience hours over the two-year course.

The equipment funds will set up a care home or hospital ward setting complete with special bed, hoist, life size mannequins and scientific equipment for checking blood pressure and more.

Ian Pryce CBE, Principal and CEO of The Bedford College Group said: “This is extremely generous of the Connolly Foundation who are champions of opportunity for young people.

“We are grateful for their continuing support.”

The Connolly Foundation is also helping full-time construction students at Bedford College to take up apprenticeships with a £500 bursary.

On signing up for an apprenticeship, the young people will receive the money to help towards tools or transport costs.

Head of Construction at Bedford College David Wilkins said: “This could potentially help 150 learners on a range of construction and courses here who find it difficult to take up an apprenticeship because they haven’t the family finances to fund tools or transport. It will appeal to employers as it will be one less barrier for the employee to overcome towards becoming a valuable team member.

Mick Callanan, of the Connolly Foundation, said: “We have been helping students at Bedford College who take up apprenticeships in the building industry for some years now, and are very happy to continue that support.”

Bedford College offers training from entry level at the age of 16 with progression on to degree-level learning for those who are seeking promotion or entry to roles such as Project Manager.

Bedford College is the largest provider of apprentices in Bedfordshire and has long tradition of supporting trainees into the fields of construction and engineering.