The Principal and Chief Executive of North West Regional College (NWRC) has issued an invitation to local people to a week of Open Days at the College’s five campuses – with the message “At NWRC, we do things differently.”
Leo Murphy says the education landscape has changed dramatically over recent times with new and exciting career paths opening up for young people. The College Principal, who oversees campuses in Derry~Londonderry, Springtown, Strabane, and Limavady (Main Street and Greystone), says he and his staff are committed to ensuring that learners are encouraged to stay local and study Further and Higher Education courses which are available on their doorstep.
He said: “The North West needs retain its young people. The future of the local economy depends on young people having the opportunity to study locally.
“At NWRC we’ve focused our efforts on growing and developing the skills base in the local region and in doing so the potential for all of our young people and adults. Many of our courses are tailored directly to meet the skills shortage and delivered in consultation with industry.
“It’s important that we harness our home-grown talent, while guiding our people into careers that not only suit their own particular skills and gifts, but jobs that encourage creativity and which champion innovation.
“These are challenging times in the world of work and industry – decisions made by young people at this stage in their lives will shape the direction of their careers in the future. Studying at college can offer a different learning environment to that experienced at a school’s sixth form.”
Mr Murphy explained that all of the full time Level 3 courses at NWRC (the equivalent of three A-Levels) are specifically designed to lead students directly into related careers or Higher Education (HND and above), which can be studied at NWRC and universities in the local area.
He continued: “Vocational education is vital because it equips students with practical experience and technical skills in a specific field.
“Learning not only takes places in our college lecture theatres and classrooms, but while acquiring knowledge and skills in their chosen area, students also get to use these skills in the real world through work placements and live project-based learning activities.
“Vocational courses are not, and will never be, confined to the classroom. The type of Education that our young people are looking for is changing, and we’ve changed with those needs.
“Recently we’ve celebrated as so many of our Level 3 students have gone on to careers in Software Development, Construction, Midwifery, Paramedic Science, Engineering, Art and Design, Hospitality Management, Professional Musicianship, Professional Acting, Journalism, Business Management, Sport, Early Years and many more.
“Many of them have since returned to the college indicating how important it was to for them to take that first step on the career ladder but choosing to study their Level 3 qualification at NWRC.
“Academic achievement is always a priority, but with more than 10,000 students currently enrolled on our full-time and part-time courses, staff at NWRC take an holistic view to the education and development of our young people.
“That’s why our Careers Academy was recently recognised as providing the best in careers education across the United Kingdom, by being awarded the coveted Association of College’s Beacon Award. We value the time that our students spend with us, but we are just as focussed on guiding them as they move into the next phase of their lives.
“NWRC Apprentice Brendan Duddy who studies at our Greystone Training and Skills Campus in Limavady was named Best Dry-Lining student in the UK after winning the Gold Medal at the UK Skills Show in Birmingham, while Nuala Mullan won the NI Vocational Award at the 2020 British Educational awards.
“And ten students from NWRC were able to enjoy the experience of a lifetime when they travelled to Hong Kong to take part in the Smart Living conference. An amazing experience for a wonderful group of inspirational and talented young people. This is a mere snapshot of some of the extra-curricular experiences that students who chose NWRC at Level 3 have gone on to enjoy.
“We invite you to come to the college on Open Day, meet us in person and decide for yourself.”
Everyone is invited to NWRC’s Open Days at the end of February. Strabane Campus Open day will take place on February 25 from 12-8 p.m., Strand Road and Springtown Campus will be hosted an Open Day on February 26 from 12-8 p.m. and Limavady and Greystone Campus on February 27 from 12-8 p.m. A Saturday open day session will also run at Strand Road Campus on February 29 from 11am – 2pm.