Adult learner fulfills desire to help others

The need to help others is one that mature student, Alan Stukins, was incredibly keen to pursue. 

Although Alan had been self-employed for many years, he decided to switch priorities from chasing profits to learning how to help people in their time of need. 

With the hope of becoming a paramedic, Alan chose to study the Access to Higher Education Diploma in Health Science Professions.

Finding the right path

Alan has worked in various roles over the past years, but struggled to feel fulfilled by the work he was doing.

“In my previous roles, I felt I was not reaching my full potential. I have been self-employed for a few years, however I felt I had lost part of who I was in constantly chasing profits and struggling to pay the bills. 

“I had always dreamed of becoming a paramedic, knowing that I could make a positive impact on people’s lives and feeling like I’ve made a difference. 

“Returning to education after many years has given me time to reflect. When I was younger, I lacked direction and motivation. However, now at 39 years old, I feel ready to completely change course and pursue a career that I’m excited about.”

Never too late to learn 

When Alan was younger, he felt unable to attend university due to his lack of formal qualifications. 

“Although it’s a daunting step to take, I thought that rather than being 45 and still feeling held back and unhappy with my job, I should go back to education so I can follow the career path I really want.

“I have really enjoyed meeting my classmates at Harrogate College. It’s great to see a range of students from different backgrounds and ages, who are all really supportive and friendly. It’s been fascinating to get back into practical science work; each session is so engaging and the study and research skills I’ve learnt are invaluable.

“The Access course provides a great introduction to things like Harvard referencing, self-directed study and planning scientific assignments. It will prepare me very well for the transition to university, so that I can go on to succeed in the profession.”

Continuing the academic journey

After completing his Access course, Alan hopes to study at university and then work within the ambulance service. 

“Once I’ve completed university, I hope to be an ambulance service paramedic for a few years. After that, I’m open to moving around within that field or returning to university to research and teach. 

“Coming back to college has made me so excited to learn; I can now focus on what I’m passionate about, rather than worrying about income from being self-employed. 

“My biggest achievement has been my ability to commit enough time to studying to get good grades while battling a reduced income from my business due to the pandemic.”

Find out more about the Access to Higher Education Health Science Professions course here.

Harrogate College celebrates Apprenticeship Week

National Apprenticeship Week Harrogate
National Apprenticeship Week Harrogate

National Apprenticeship Week is fast approaching and Harrogate College will be joining the celebrations again this year.

It will have a stand at the Leeds Apprenticeship Recruitment Fair (LARF) taking place at Leeds Direct Arena on Monday 3 February.

LARF is the largest apprenticeship exhibition in the north and the college will be among approximately 100 companies recruiting apprentices.

Harrogate College offers a wide range of apprenticeships at every level, from entry to degree. Successful candidates split their time between work and college, combining learning, earning and gaining experience needed to develop throughout their career.

The college will also be running an apprenticeship roadshow at its campus on 5 February.

The Apprenticeship team will be available to talk to potential apprentices about the steps involved, as well as information for employers looking to take on an apprentice.

Lee Pryor, Director of Apprenticeships at Harrogate College said: “We’re are excited to be getting involved in the Leeds Apprenticeship Recruitment Fair that brings together leading companies to offer potential apprentices opportunities to kick-start their careers.

“Employers are also at the heart of what we do and will gain insight and information on how we can work together to bridge the skills gap in a number of sectors. This includes engineering, health and social care, digital & IT and more.”

Pryor added: We are committed to bringing employers and young people together to provide real opportunities for them to find out what career path they want to take and to help employers find the right candidates for their organisations.”

National Apprenticeship Week 2020 is running until 9 February this year. For the first time, the week has been extended to include the weekend, giving the entire apprenticeship community more opportunity to get involved with activities.

See bus schedule below:

Wednesday 5 February

Harrogate College

9am – 2pm