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Careers Education and Guidance

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Quality Careers Education

Aquinas College has a team of professionally trained career advisers who assist individuals in their choice of career, learning, work and life goals, ensuring students receive impartial and confidential support. They help students to gain a place at University, an apprenticeship, employment or further training.

Our Promise to You

In today’s world there are increasing pressures on young people. Progression options have become more challenging so the importance of high quality impartial Careers Guidance is crucial in helping young people make the right choices. Appropriate guidance can raise aspiration, awareness and motivation to achieve. We will give accurate, independent, timely, clear advice and information, on a wide range of careers and educational issues.

Aim of Aquinas Careers Service

To inspire, encourage and inform via accurate and timely careers advice.

Our Key Values:

  • Approachability – we are welcoming, easy to talk to and friendly
  • Collaboration – we are connected, consultative and work in partnerships
  • Impartiality – we are inclusive, objective and fair
  • Innovation – we are progressive, developmental and adaptable
  • Professionalism – we are expert, skilled and reliable

A copy of our full Statement of Service can be viewed from the following link:

Service Level Agreement [PDF File]

Where can you find the Careers Centre?

Careers are located on the ground floor of the learning centre near student information. During term time we are open from 8.30pm – 4.30pm Monday to Thursday and to 4pm on a Friday. You can also contact us by email, Twitter or telephone – 0161 483 3237

Meet the Team

We have three highly qualified careers advisers – Marina Bowden and John Morrison (who work full time) and Louise Wilson (who works part time Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday). Richard Hackney, from SMBC also supports targeted students. Their primary role is to enhance the students’ knowledge of the full range of options available to them. Through workshops, group sessions, one to one interviews, employer, apprenticeship and university visits and talks; the aim is to ensure each student has the resources and support available to them to make informed choices about their career and education choices.

John Morrison is also Head of Careers and Careers Leader, who oversees the careers education material in the tutorial programme.

Teresa, a senior librarian oversees resources and maintains the opportunities board.

Contact emails

What do we do?

The Careers team provides a wide range of services to students and partners. We

  • Offer individual student consultations either drop-in or by appointment
  • Give you an individual action plan after each consultation
  • Deliver a careers education programme via the 10:10 tutorial programme
  • Liaise with local and national employers and training providers and regularly invite visiting speakers to address groups of students about developments in their areas.
  • Organise talks and visits from Universities, employers and apprenticeship training providers
  • Promote career opportunities to students via the bulletin, Twitter feed and email
  • Support students with applications to universities, apprenticeships and other employment opportunities
  • Provide help and suggestions for students looking for work experience
  • We attend consultation evenings and career events outside college giving advice to prospective students and their parents

An overview of the Careers Education programme can be viewed here. Detailed information is emailed to students during their induction programme. Careers Programme

The quality of the careers education programme and the services offered by the careers department are subject to the college’s self-assessment quality review procedures. Each year careers review the service offered over the past 12 months and write a new quality improvement plan. The quality review meeting usually takes place in November. Feedback from students, parents, staff, training providers, employers and other partners are reviewed and used in order to help make the programme relevant to the students. Destination data, information from UCAS and local labour market are also reviewed to help measure impact on the services we offer.

Our Partners

We pride ourselves on our extensive range of partnerships which includes UCAS, many Universities and colleges across the country, local training providers, local and national employers and the Student Loan Company. We work closely with Stockport Alliance and the Chamber of Commerce and are members of the Gander project which brings ‘employers and education together’. The careers team are also part of the National Collaborative Outreach Programme (NCOP) helping students from areas where there is a lower than average proportion of young people going to University. We have also been selected (one of only four colleges in Greater Manchester) to be part of the new Careers and Enterprise Hub for Greater Manchester working together using our expertise to help improve careers education for all. Members of the team have also presented at national conferences and have attended a working group on social mobility at the Houses of Parliament.

The Careers Team

The Careers team
John Morrison RCDP – Head of Careers / Careers Leader, Marina Bowden RCDP – Careers Adviser, Louise Wilson – Careers Adviser and Teresa Turnbull – Careers Librarian

Further Information

  • Work Experience
    • Experiences of Workplaces and Encounters with Employers

      Aquinas College encourages students to pursue gaining insights into the world of work and having work-related learning experiences such as work visits, work shadowing and/or work experience. Some experiences of workplaces are facilitated as part of curriculum learning through subject trips and visits, raising both career aspirations and awareness. Employer encounters, both inside and outside of the college environment are facilitated throughout the year, organised by curriculum staff and the Aquinas College Careers Team.

      Aquinas College is not a provider of individual work experience placements for individual students. Therefore, we do not find work placements for students. As we are not a work placement provider, our insurance does not cover the placement, therefore employers should not require any details from us. Responsibility for the student’s working rests with the organisation offering work experience placements.

      The Aquinas College Careers Team can support students and offer advice to consider the best type of work insights based on their preferred career options. Students can make a careers appointment with a Careers Adviser to advise and plan out obtaining relevant work-related learning experiences.

  • Apprenticeship and Employer Engagement
    • Apprenticeship and Employer Engagement

      We are always looking to enhance the apprenticeship and employer engagement activities across the college and would welcome any support you are able to offer. As an employer or apprenticeship you can play a significant part in helping our students understand and being prepared for the world of work. If you are interested in providing any of the following we would be delighted to hear from you.

      • Presentation on the Day in the Life of …..
      • Presentation linked to one of the curriculum subjects
      • A real life project/brief for the students to work on and develop
      • Aspirational presentation
      • Presentation by young people in your business who have an inspiring story to tell – possibly an apprentice
      • Offering a work place visit
      • Work experience – 1 week in June/July
      • Support in writing assignment briefs
      • Pupil Mentoring
      • Feedback on our careers programme

      Please email careers:

      Information for Others document [PDF file]

  • Parents/Carers
    • Parents/Carers

      Parents play an important role in guiding students in their progression from Aquinas College. There is information on the links below which you may find useful – especially details of the employment areas where there are skills shortages – the labour market information. Aquinas students are given login details to further online packages including Unifrog, which can be accessed at home; we would encourage you to use them together.

      Students participate in the Careers Education programme via the 10:10 tutorial. They all have access to their own career plan which helps guide them make their decisions for After Aquinas. We encourage students to complete it on a regular basis. Through this information we can then email direct to students details about events, talks and activities which would suit their needs.

      It is important for students to have contact with employers so we encourage students to undertake a period of relevant, career related work experience/work shadowing from half a day to a week towards the end of the summer term in the lower sixth. Participation in work experience could take place during college holidays. Any work experience that students complete should be recorded on their career plan and student information informed. There is minimal paperwork to be completed beforehand.

      From time to time we email parents asking for feedback on events we hold; we would really appreciate if you can take the time to complete one of our surveys so we can improve the service for all its users. If you are able to contribute to our careers programme by giving a presentation to our students, offering a period of work experience or a visit, please contact Careers.

      If at any time you require further information, please do not hesitate to contact Careers at Aquinas College via email or by telephone 0161 483 3237.

      The Parents’ Guide to: Getting ahead during the summer holidays

  • Information for Teachers
    • Information for Teachers

      Teachers are a valuable source of career information for students helping them understand the importance of their subject in the real world. Through class activities employability skills can be developed. Careers welcome feedback from all subject teachers on the careers education programme. If further information about careers relating to a particular curriculum area is required then please contact careers. We value feedback from subject teachers on the career education programme and encourage them to complete our annual feedback survey. If any issues arise we would value their contact immediately.

Useful Links