Chesterfield Education

University of Derby recognised for ‘world leading’ research

The University of Derby is delivering world-leading and internationally excellent research in Education, according to the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021 results announced today.

In total, the University submitted 27 Case Studies demonstrating how research has impacted business and society across its core academic themes and subjects.

Notable achievements for the University across other subject areas include:

  • Computer Science and Informatics (74%), Social Work and Social Policy (71%), Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences (69%), Art and Design (66%) and Communication, Culture and Media Studies (58%) is ‘world-leading’ and ‘internationally excellent’ in terms of originality, significance and rigour.
  • 100% of the University’s research impact and significance in Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences is classified as 4* (outstanding) and 3* (very considerable). 83% in Education is classified as 4* (outstanding) and 3* (very considerable).
  • A 3* research environment – assessed in terms of vitality, sustainability, and how this enables research – for areas including Allied Health Professionals, Business and Management Studies, Social Work and Social Policy, Education, Art and Design and Communication and Cultural Studies.

Speaking about the University’s results, Professor Kathryn Mitchell CBE DL, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Derby, said: “Since the last REF in 2014, our researchers have continued to generate distinctive, world-leading, and impactful research as part of our ongoing drive to becoming a more research-focused institution.

“These REF 2021 results mark a step change for the University of Derby, reflecting our commitment to delivering excellence in research at an international level, while positively impacting our high-quality teaching and learning. I would like to celebrate our staff, students and partners for the effort, expertise and collaboration that has gone into our submission.”

Professor Warren Manning, Provost Innovation and Research the University of Derby, added: “Working collaboratively with businesses and organisations in Derby, Derbyshire and the region to deliver applied research and knowledge exchange is an area of strength for us. Our REF submission further demonstrates how our innovation and research expertise aligns to our partners’ needs and supports them to tackle challenges and make a positive impact regionally and globally.”

The University has demonstrated positive impact on the economy, society or culture through its submissions.

The University of Derby supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 200 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

University of Derby’s St. Helena Campus in Chesterfield

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Workpays’ Big Assembly Wins at the 2022 Annual Apprenticeship Conference Awards

Big Assembly, a project delivered by Workpays in association with its partners, has won the FE WEEK AELP Annual Apprenticeship Conference 2022 Award for Promoting Apprenticeships ‘Campaign of the Year’ at the award ceremony in Birmingham.

The annual event returned in 2022, with the broadcast informing thousands of young people about the benefits of apprenticeships. The live event enables schools, parents, students and employers to receive  information and advice about possible next steps in their careers.

For the 2022 event, The Big Assembly teamed up with companies such as Pret A Manger, Bakkavor, Disability Rights UK, the Co-operative Bank & Coca-Cola Europacific Partners.

Alex Glasner, Managing Director at Workpays said: “It’s a real honour to be receive the Promoting Apprenticeship Campaign of the Year Award. Our entire team works hard throughout the year to provide young people with information and real stories about incredible apprenticeships.

“I’m proud that the work we are doing has been recognised with a national award. We will always keep young people and their careers at the centre of what we do.”

Twenty-four awards winners were recognised at the awards including Workpays, revealed at the ceremony in Birmingham as part of the two day conference which is held annually.

There are many great opportunities to become an apprentice across Chesterfield, with more than 2,500 people currently taking part in an apprenticeship in the town.

Chesterfield is the first town in the UK to declare itself an Apprentice Town – demonstrating its commitment to growing the future and careers of young people alongside business and the economy by retaining and developing young talent in the town in order to attract more employers to invest here.

Workpays supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 200 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

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Outdoor performance space created at Springwell Community College

A new performance canopy has been built at Springwell Community College with funding provided through the Staveley Town Deal.

The new canopy is next to the performing arts block – providing space for summer concerts and productions to be held outside. It can also be used by students during the day as a covered social and dining space.

Ian Wingfield, headteacher at Springwell Community College, said: “The SCART (Springwell Community Arts) provision at Springwell has had a challenging time through the pandemic and this investment will help to reboot and enhance this highly regarded programme. The new performance space is a welcome addition to our college and creates new opportunities for students to develop their skills and build on stage experience.”

The performance canopy was constructed during half term and benches have been placed under the canopy to provide a sheltered social and dining space.

As part of the Town Deal process, accelerator funding worth £500,000 was granted by Government to deliver projects ahead of the full set of projects that form Staveley Town Deal.

Ivan Fomin, Chair of the Staveley Town Deal Board, said: “The accelerator funding has really helped kickstart the Town Deal and demonstrates the broad ambitions of the Town Deal Board. The projects that have been supported through accelerator funding aim to improve the quality of life for local residents and ensure that Staveley is a place to start, to stay and to grow. I look forward to the summer when we can enjoy outdoor performances at Springwell Community College and I hope the community will turn out to support these performances too.”

Accelerator funding has also been used to create new play facilities on King George V Playing Field, upgrade CCTV in Staveley Town Centre, improve drainage on the Chantry Playing Fields and to undertake preparatory works for DRIIVe a rail innovation and training centre which will be built in Barrow Hill.

Councillor Tricia Gilby, leader of Chesterfield Borough Council and vice chair of Staveley Town Deal Board, said: “The accelerator projects are really just the first step in delivering the wider Town Deal, there will be lots of updates around the eleven key projects that form the Town Investment Plan over the next few months as well as the opportunity for residents to get involved.”

Find out more about Staveley Town Deal on the Chesterfield Borough Council website:

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Blue Plaque unveiled at University of Derby’s St. Helena Campus in Chesterfield

A Blue Plaque has been unveiled at the University of Derby’s Chesterfield campus to commemorate the building and its significance as a prominent former girl’s school in the area.

The plaque was unveiled at the Grade II listed building, St Helena, formerly Chesterfield Girls High School, by Dr Maureen Strelley, a former pupil and Bolsover GP, at an event hosted in collaboration with the Chesterfield Civic Society on Monday 7 March, 2022.

The building was originally designed by G.H. Widdows, one of the outstanding school architects of his day and was his first major project for the county council. Opened as a new secondary school in 1911 by the Duchess of Devonshire, the school provided transformative education for many pupils, before it closed in 1991.

In 2016, the University fully transformed the building, which is now regarded as a centre of excellence for health, providing some of the best teaching facilities in the UK for nursing courses.

Professor Keith McLay, Provost – Learning and Teaching at the University of Derby, said: “We are delighted that a Blue Plaque has been unveiled at our St Helena building in recognition of its historic significance.

“The University sympathetically restored the building, retaining most of its original features, and is now a teaching and learning environment for students who are going into valuable careers in the healthcare profession. We are proud of the building and its heritage as a pioneering educational establishment.”

Philip Riden, Chairman of Chesterfield Civic Society, added: “It is fantastic that this wonderful building, which provided life changing opportunities for so many young people, has been recognised with a Blue Plaque.“Looking back at its history, the first secondary school for girls in Chesterfield was a private school run from a house called East Bank on Sheffield Road. Faced with the need to provide places under the 1902 Education Act, the county council bought up the school and got it temporarily recognised as a public secondary school on condition that they built a new school as soon as possible, which they did on an extremely ambitious scale.“This school, which was renamed St Helena School in 1947, and Chesterfield School, which offered education to boys, were important as major agents of social mobility for their pupils, which they took from a number of schools across the borough and adjoining county area. Both enabled their pupils to proceed to higher education and onto successful professional careers, which is very much aligned to the work and ambitions of the University of Derby today.”

Other attendees at the event included Dr Denise Baker, Interim Pro Vice-Chancellor Dean of the College of Health, Psychology and Social Care at the University of Derby, Professor Stephen Wordsworth, Interim Deputy Dean of the same College, and Frank Gorman, Secretary of the Chesterfield Civic Society.After the unveiling ceremony, all attendees were invited to lunch and a tour around the campus.As well as learning spaces, the University’s Chesterfield campus is home to the Innovation Centre Chesterfield, which allows small-to-medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to incubate new business ideas, increase their speed of growth and de-risk the process of developing new products.

Chesterfield businesses are being invited to a ‘Planning for Growth’ event at the St. Helena Campus on 27th April 2022. Organisations will be able to discover the support available to help make their goals a reality and expand their network through meeting like-minded business leaders. To find out more and book your place, go to:

The University of Derby supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 200 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

Photo supplied by Richard Richards Photography

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New mentoring programme to support young people across North Derbyshire

The D2N2 Careers Hub, Led by the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership and funded by the Careers & Enterprise Company, are expanding an innovative mentoring programme to support more young people across North Derbyshire, in partnership with The Work-Wise Foundation.

The launch follows a successful pilot in 2021, initiated by leaders from Chesterfield’s Property and Construction Forum, in partnership with Chesterfield Borough Council and D2N2 Careers Hub.

The Future Makers, Creators, Designers and Builders Mentoring Programme is designed to support people who may be interested in exploring or pursuing careers working in the built environment. This might include designers, architects, surveyors, structural engineers, builders, and construction workers.

The pilot, which ran from March 2021 to January 2022 and was led by The Work-wise Foundation, saw female students from local Careers Hub schools and colleges; St. Mary’s Catholic High School, Chesterfield College, Whittington Green School, Springwell Community College and Brookfield Community School partnered with mentors from Whittam Cox Architects, Woodhead Group and Chesterfield Borough Council.

As part of this, students took part in construction themed activity days at CBE+ in Chesterfield and had regular meetings with their mentors to introduce them to the world of work and enthuse them about a career in the industry. In January, The Work-wise Foundation visited the students in their schools/colleges with D2N2 Careers Hub and their mentors to award them with certificates to celebrate their achievements.

Hannah Higley, Hub Coordinator for the Derbyshire North Careers Hub at D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership said, “It has been fantastic to see this programme develop over the last year. D2N2 Careers Hub and our local steering group are proud to fund the expansion of this successful model, in partnership with the Careers & Enterprise Company cornerstone employers in D2N2, to support more young people in exploring what their next best step might be”

Cllr Amanda Serjeant, Deputy Leader of Chesterfield Borough Council said, “I am really pleased to see the continuation of this project.  Improving the skills and work readiness of people in Chesterfield is our top priority because it will help ensure our ambition to create a thriving borough.

This programme is a great example of how partnership working can strengthen the links between education and business and help ensure that more school leavers are developing the skills they need to enter the workplace.  I am especially excited to see programmes that inspire with young women in sectors where they are underrepresented is key to ensuring success.

Women currently make up around 14% of professional roles within the construction industry, a number which we hope is set to rise with more and more women choosing construction jobs as a result of programmes like this.”

Following the success and positive feedback received from the schools/colleges, businesses and young people involved, the programme is launching to schools across the North Derbyshire region this month.

The programme will seek 15 mentees who may be interested in exploring or pursuing careers working in the built environment and partner them up with role models from industry who will work with them to build confidence, knowledge, and career prospects.

Over a 6-month period, mentors will receive relevant training which will help them work with their mentee on a bespoke project relevant to their mentors business and/or industry. The programme will finish with a showcase event on 8th July where students will present their projects and celebrate their achievements.

A launch event is scheduled to take place on Friday 18th March 2022 at Chesterfield College and any individuals interested in becoming mentors, or schools interested in their students’ becoming mentees, should contact The Work-wise Foundation at or call Alex Gardner on 07726 362067.

To get in touch with D2N2 Careers Hub, contact

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Students and higher apprentices graduate with university-level qualifications from Chesterfield College

Students and higher apprentices from Chesterfield College celebrated their graduation recently after studying for university-level qualifications. In the first graduation ceremony for two years, proud friends, family and employers attended a special ceremony at the Winding Wheel in Chesterfield.

Graduates who completed their courses over the last two years were finally able to celebrate achieving their university-level qualifications in a wide range of subjects and levels following their studies during the pandemic.

Achievements in higher national certificates and diplomas as well as foundation, full and postgraduate degrees in engineering, public services, social care, education, sports and creative media were all celebrated. Those celebrating success with higher level professional qualifications in business, human resources, management, accounting and education were also recognised in the ceremony.

James Dietsch, graduated with a BSc Hons in Software Development and was chosen to give the student vote of thanks at the ceremony.  Studying for a degree in computer software development at Chesterfield College gave James the chance to develop a career in something he loved after he was made redundant from a job in retail. He is now working with the college to develop the new digital technology centre which recently opened, providing students on a range of courses from construction and engineering to computing and art with industry standard equipment to develop their skills.

He said: “The fact that we have made it here today to attend our graduation is not only a testament to our commitment to complete a course, but also to the hard-working staff members of the college who have supported us throughout this journey. Graduates, we have all progressed into a unique club of individuals and have the power now to determine our own path, so with that I ask that you simply follow your dreams and do whatever makes you happy.”

Lee Hardy graduated with a Level 5 qualification in Leadership and Management along with 3 of his colleagues from the Central England Co-operative Society. They had all studied for the qualification on an apprenticeship. He told us:

“It has been a long time coming to be able to celebrate our achievements so it is a relief to finally be here. The company does really well at investing in colleagues. Studying at this level gave us more opportunities, greater learning and something we can give back to the company as well as ourselves. The leadership skills we have gained already has helped us massively.”

Julie Richards, Principal and Chief Executive of the Chesterfield College Group congratulated the graduates at the ceremony. She said;

“I am delighted we are able to hold our graduation ceremony today. It feels very special for the graduates to celebrate the incredible achievements with family, friends and employers. Every year I see students show remarkable dedication but I believe these graduates have shown extra resilience and commitment in achieving such success in such unprecedented circumstances.  On behalf of The Chesterfield College Group and our partner universities, I would like to congratulate each and every one of you and I wish you every success for the future.”

Chesterfield College works alongside a range of partners to deliver university-level and professional courses, including Sheffield Hallam University, University of Derby and Pearson. This allows people who want to work towards higher education qualifications the opportunity to access  flexible, affordable and quality higher level skills with their local college.

To find out more about the courses available at the University Centre visit

Chesterfield College supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 200 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

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School pupils work towards making our town a better place

Pupils at Highfield Hall Primary School have been exploring how we can all work together to improve Chesterfield and create a more sustainable town as part of a new local democracy learning programme.

Taking place from 17 January, the children drew up ideas about how they think the local area, including the town centre and Queen’s Park, could be improved – and then had the chance to share their thoughts at a special question and answer session with Chesterfield Borough Council councillors.

Aimed at pupils aged between 6 to 11 years, the project is designed to help them think about how working together as a community can contribute to big changes for the future with a focus on sustainability. It also supports the wider curriculum including their English language skills.

Councillor Amanda Serjeant, deputy leader of Chesterfield Borough Council, said: “We are proud to be able to support this pilot project as part of our local democracy outreach work.

“This has been a fantastic opportunity for local school children to learn more about our borough and contribute their ideas as part of the curriculum. They were all really enthusiastic about the project and had some great ideas for ways we could improve our town and make it more sustainable. I look forward to reading their letters in more detail and seeing if we can introduce any of their suggestions.”

Cllr Serjeant attended the school with ward members Cllr Jill Mannion-Brunt and Cllr Tom Murphy, who accompanied the children on a visit to the town centre and answered questions the children had about the council.

The pupils had some great ideas including public water fountains, reducing in traffic in the town centre, rewarding recycling and encouraging people to walk and cycle more. They had a real interest in sustainability and this was a key discussion topic during the question-and-answer session with their local councillors.

Leader of Chesterfield Borough Council, Cllr Tricia Gilby, has created a video thanking the pupils for their efforts. The council will also consider some of the suggestions made by the children and see how they can be realised.

To come up with their ideas, the pupils used the booklet “How to make your town a better place”, developed by the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe. Through this booklet, the Congress wants to help children better understand the concept of sustainability and encourage them to share their ideas with their local authority. The pupils at Highfield Hall Primary School helped pilot and test this booklet.

The teachers will now feedback to the Congress on the content of the pilot programme and make recommendations for any improvements. In March, the final learning tool will be adopted by the Congress and be made available for children to use in towns and cities from all 47 members of the Council of Europe.

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Made in Chesterfield praised by businesses, schools and pupils

An impact report has revealed that nearly 200 students from North East Derbyshire’s schools got a hands-on taste of manufacturing and engineering careers during the Made in Chesterfield festival in November last year.

Businesses, teachers and pupils have all praised the Made in Chesterfield initiative.

Nick McGowan, assistant headteacher a teacher at Whittington Green School which visited Woodhead Construction’s enterprise centre site, said: “We’ve been teaching construction in the school for the last 15 years and one thing we have always struggled with is access to site so the visit was absolutely brilliant. The visit opened the student’s horizons to the jobs and opportunities within the construction sector.”

In a review of the month-long annual festival undertaken by Direct Education Business Partnership (DEBP) which coordinated Made in Chesterfield in conjunction with Destination Chesterfield, it also found that there was no demand for virtual school visits, indicating that schools are keen to re-engage face-to-face with the business community despite the pandemic.

Ivan Fomin, Managing Director of MSE Hiller and Destination Chesterfield’s board member responsible for manufacturing and engineering in the borough, said: “The uptake of the physical workplace tours by schools for Made in Chesterfield was very encouraging given the current climate of uncertainty. There is a very real appetite amongst schools to give young people the widest exposure to careers and job opportunities.”

He added: “It is so important that we highlight the local career and job opportunities to young people as they are an intrinsic part of Chesterfield’s growth ambitions.”

Virtual workplace tours were launched last year amidst the pandemic, however with Covid restrictions eased physical workplace tours were reintroduced for 2021.

Pupils from Whittington Green School, Springwell Community College, St Mary’s Catholic High School, The Bolsover School, Shirebrook Academy and Heritage Academy all took part in visits to local engineering and manufacturing businesses, including Aztec Oils, Woodhead Construction, CBE+, Penny Hydraulics, Superior Wellness, Morgan Sindall, Weightron Bilanciai, MSE Hiller and United Cast Bar.

Carol Claydon, Head of HR at Superior Wellness which hosted students from Springwell Community College, said: “The tour organised by Made in Chesterfield was a fantastic opportunity for our business. Our team members thoroughly enjoyed explaining more about the business, their roles and their work experience to the students. It was brilliant to see how inspired the students were and I think it opened their eyes to the various career opportunities within the local area.

“The campaign is a fantastic way to inspire the next generation and hopefully showcase the different sectors and opportunities available within the town of Chesterfield.”

Ben Jones, Project Manager at Weightron Bilanciai which hosted students from Bolsover School added: “Hopefully we have inspired young people to be interested in what they want to do as a career so they can start thinking ahead now to what they should be studying and also whether they want to go to university or follow the apprenticeship route.”

Charlie Goodwin, Projects Officer at DEBP who compiled the report commented: “We are so grateful to the many businesses who got involved with Made in Chesterfield and worked with us to make it a success in 2021. We appreciate that everyone continues to experience challenging times, however the feedback from those who participated has demonstrated the value in providing meaningful insights into the working world and the role this initiative has in inspiring future employees.”

Launched originally in 2013, the annual Made in Chesterfield campaign, has since introduced thousands of young people across North East Derbyshire to the possibility of a career in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) sector.

The hands-on campaign aims to bridge the careers information gap between education and industry by giving schools and pupils access to workplace tours, a range of careers videos and the MyFuture virtual careers fair.

Made in Chesterfield 2021 was made possible thanks to funding and support from The Chesterfield College Group, Chesterfield Borough Council, D2N2 LEP and Careers and Enterprise Company, Derbyshire North Career Hub, MSE Hiller, United Cast Bar Ltd and NatWest.

Emily Carter, Operational Careers Hub Lead at D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership added: “We are ever grateful to our cornerstone employers and local business partners for supporting opportunities such as the Made in Chesterfield open doors programmes, supporting young people’s career awareness and aspirations, again this year despite the challenges still faced by industry.

“D2N2 Careers Hub is excited to fund the expansion of this successful model to bring more open doors programmes to young people across the wider D2N2 region during the rest of the 2021-22 academic year.”

Julie Richards, Principal and Chief Executive of the Chesterfield College Group said: “I am delighted to hear that once again the Made in Chesterfield initiative has been a great success. We are proud to support the programme of activities which take place to connect the future workforce with local employers. It is very encouraging to hear how so many schools and employers benefited. It is critical we excite and educate the next generation to understand the fantastic career opportunities for engineering and manufacturing in Chesterfield to build the workforce for the future and secure local economic growth.”

A number of the businesses involved in the Made in Chesterfield campaign are keen to continue to work with schools throughout the year. If your school would like to arrange a workplace visit, please contact DEBP on 01246 212 535.

Posted in About Chesterfield, Apprentice Town, Business, Destination Chesterfield, Development, Featured, Home, Made in Chesterfield, UncategorisedTagged in , , , , , , , ,

Workpays to deliver employability apprenticeship to get more people into work

Skills provider Workpays is looking to boost the employability market by offering a new Level 4 Employability Practitioner Apprenticeship.

The apprenticeship, lasting 18-24 months, can be delivered online and face-to-face. Depending on turnover, businesses can receive funding from the government to
cover 95% or 100% of associated costs.

The broad purpose of the apprenticeship is to provide staff with the skills to work with individuals who are distanced furthest from the labour market. Supporting
them to address and overcome obstacles in securing suitable and sustainable employment.

Occupations linked to it include Key Workers, Careers Advisors, Job Coaches, Student Support Workers, Training Advisors and many more.

Alex Glasner, Managing Director at Workpays, said: “We see the new Level 4 Employability Practitioner Apprenticeship as an exciting addition to our already award-winning lineup of apprenticeship programmes.

“Now, more than ever, Workpays is committed to helping people get back into work and this apprenticeship will ensure that employers are equipped with the
right skills to make it happen.”

This apprenticeship will benefit small, medium and large organisations, including local authorities, government bodies, recruitment agencies, training providers,
universities, schools and many more.

Any employer or individual wanting more information on the Employability Practitioner Apprenticeship, or apprenticeships in general, is to contact the Workpays Work-based learning team on

Find out more about apprenticeships in Chesterfield by visiting our Apprentice Town page.

Workpays helps people to access the skills & training needed to gain employment. The firm also provides Apprenticeship Support & Knowledge to parents, teachers & students and assists employers to develop their workforce through work-based learning and apprenticeships.

The company operates nationally, including an office here in Chesterfield. Workpays also helps to provide skills support from their other offices in Derby, Coventry, Chesterfield, Kettering, Leicester, Wolverhampton, Hinckley, Corby & Market Harborough.

Workpays supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 180 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

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College to support employers following extension to the apprenticeship incentive scheme

Principal and Chief Executive of The Chesterfield College Group, Julie Richards, has welcomed the news that the Government plans to extend the apprenticeship incentive and Kickstart schemes.

Following Rishi Sunak’s announcement last week, she has pledged to continue to help and support employers in the area who wish to take advantage of the incentives available before they end in 2022.

Since the incentive schemes were announced last year, as part of the Government’s Covid recovery plans, the college has supported over 300 employers to access bonus payments of up to £4,000 to recruit almost 400 apprentices.

Speaking about how the college was best placed to help more local employers take advantage of the incentives, Julie Richards said:

“Apprenticeships have always offered a fantastic opportunity to fill skills gaps and develop people. The bonus payment is designed to help employers feel more secure in their ability to cover the cost of recruiting an apprentice. Apprenticeships provide our young people with specific opportunities to develop their skills and secure meaningful employment which supports their financial independence and prepares them for adult life and a successful career.”

“As a local college we are committed to matching the needs of employers with the skills and talents of young people. I urge employers to contact the college to understand how the scheme may work for them. Our team are experts in supporting employers to develop a programme of skills development which will have long lasting benefits both for them and the local economy.”

The experienced team are helping organisations, large and small across Derbyshire and the East Midlands, to find the best candidates for their apprenticeship vacancies. They have a talent pool of students and applicants ready to find their next step in the world of work and are supporting businesses to navigate the recruitment process to secure their new apprentice.

Matt Cryans, Director at Crytec Ltd, a company based in Clay Cross, which sells machinery for construction, forestry and manual handling, told us about his experience of recruiting his first apprentice and making the most of the incentive scheme with the support of the college.

He said: “The scheme covers a decent proportion of an apprentice’s wages so it gives you confidence to recruit. The extra funding certainly helps you to make the move to grow the team when things feel a bit uncertain. The team at college made it easy to apply for the funding and supported me through the steps of taking on an apprentice.”

Find out more about the apprenticeship bonus scheme and the support available for Kickstart here

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New music studios at Chesterfield College provide industry standard facilities

New studios at Chesterfield College are giving music production students and local musicians a professional space to practice and record, using industry standard equipment.

The studios are the latest addition to the college’s new music department. They are designed to allow students the opportunity to develop the technical and creative skills they need for their future careers. At the same time, they will also provide a useful resource for musicians in Chesterfield to use as a collaborative recording space in the evenings and at weekends.

The new facilities provide a perfect mix of practical and academic spaces for a combination of classroom based learning and hands on experience at music making and recording. They are made up of three elements. These include a traditional classroom space with a suite of macs for learning and editing, a control room including a mixing desk and analogue equipment, and a ‘live room’ which has been designed for traditional collaborative music making. The live room has features which are designed to reflect acoustics and help musicians perform better together.

After spending the first week of term using the new facilities, level 3 music students Josh Clark and Connor Cartledge told us about the difference it had made to them.

Josh who is a rapper, singer and songwriter, with an interest in production said: “I am very happy that I have the opportunity to come in to use an actual studio and work with my peers. The course gives us the chance to learn lots of different skills and practice on different equipment that I don’t have at home. I am excited to know how I can use it next. I am hoping to record my own EP using the facilities we have here. I am really looking forward to that.”

Connor, who wants to be a producer or sound engineer said: “It has made a massive difference now we have this equipment. When we leave college to pursue a career in music, whether as a producer or as a musician we will have the knowledge we need.  We have top of the range microphones and a full studio which will mean any assignments and projects we work on will sound a lot better. Last year we had to record on whatever we had because we couldn’t be in college, so it is going to make a lot of difference. We have got a lot to learn about how to run and work the studio, but it is good to have it ready for the start of the new college year.”

Music tutor and musician, Jonathon Salisbury said: “Having the music studio gives us a professional environment the students can walk into and use. You don’t necessarily need that level of equipment to make good music but if you learn how to use this kind of facility you can always scale back to whatever you need. It is fundamental for students to understand how a professional studio works and get used to that kind of environment. It will help them build up an amazing portfolio of recordings which will launch them onto whatever they choose to do after college.”

“The studio is designed with analogue equipment so it works best for traditional collaborative music making. You can put a whole band in one space. There is real magic that happens when you get musicians together in one room. All the old great bands worked that way. The students who have used it so far have been amazed that they are in this professional space making music with other people again. They are definitely inspired by the quality of what they can produce in the new facilities.”

One local band has already used the space to record parts of their album and the college plans to hire out the new music studios to more local bands and musicians. They are particularly keen to offer the space to those just starting out who are looking for a resource like this on their doorstep.

To find out more about hiring the music studios contact

To find out more about studying music at Chesterfield College visit

Chesterfield College supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 190 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

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