New Study Support Mentor for apprentices introduced at GC
Ahead of National Apprenticeship Week 2016, Gloucestershire College is delighted to announce the introduction of a new Study Support Mentor role dedicated to apprentices, creating a crucial link between the workplace and college work to ensure successful completion of their apprenticeships.
Study support is well-established at the College for full-time students but this is the first time a role has been created specifically for apprentices. The College has long been a champion of apprenticeships and is this year’s headline sponsor of the Apprentice 1000 campaign, which has been backed by Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne.
The new role has been taken on by 46-year-old Jason Pankhurst, from Gloucester, who visits apprentices in the workplace and at college to support them with their studies. He has 1-2-1 sessions with each apprentice at least once a month, but can see them more frequently when they have exams approaching or specific needs. Support can include help with assignment planning; maths and English; revision techniques; and providing assistive technology such as voice recorders, screen readers and iPads to aid learning.
Jason has worked at the College for 20 years and his previous roles include Learning Gateway Advisor, IT Trainer for Adults, IT Tutor for Adults with Special Needs, and IT Helpdesk Coordinator.
He said: “I think it is very important for the College to offer support to apprentices, to provide that crucial link between the workplace and their college work.
“I work with over 25 apprentices currently, but the number of referrals continue to rise. Some apprentices simply find it helpful to have someone to share ideas with, in addition to their tutors and training coordinators, while for others it’s enough to give them the confidence they need to go on to pass an assessment, or reach goals they have been struggling to achieve.
“Some may have learning differences such as dyslexia, which without the extra support, could hold them back and add extra pressure to them. It can be the difference between success and not completing their course.”
17-year-old Macauley Christopher, a former Dene Magna School pupil from Drybrook, is an Electrical Apprentice working for Roger Davey Electrical in Coleford, who has benefitted greatly from Jason’s support.
He said: “I see my Study Support Mentor every Friday after college and he has helped me with revising for my exams and given me a better understanding of my college work. I have benefitted by passing my exams and improving my work, which has given me more confidence. I am enjoying learning the jobs and trade of an electrician and aim to be one of the best electricians in the business, whilst working for Roger Davey Electrical.”
The College also has a dedicated Study Support Mentor at each main campus in Cheltenham, Gloucester and the Forest of Dean, who works with full-time students. Students are able to self-refer, or lecturers can refer them to a Study Support Mentor, if they feel they could benefit from additional support outside of the classroom.
For more information about the support available for apprentices and students at Gloucestershire College call Student Services on 0345 155 2020.