Alumni and members of the Board of Corporation at Nelson and Colne College Group were on hand to inspire current students working towards their futures during National Careers Week 2021.

This year was the 10th anniversary of the annual celebration of careers guidance and free resources in education across the UK.

The College Group’s Careers Team had scheduled an action-packed agenda full of insightful sessions to support 16-18-year-old learners at Nelson and Colne College and Accrington and Rossendale College. These included Higher Education, personal development through employability skills, and employer engagement from a range of industry sectors.

Lancashire Adult Learning’s Employability Team were also busy during the week. They launched a three-week Business Administration and Customer Service course in partnership with Daisy Communications and the Department for Work and Pensions. The course, also known as a Sector-based Work Academy Programme (SWAP), will develop adult learners’ employment skills and they will get a guaranteed interview with Daisy at the end of it.

“I was thrilled to be invited to speak as an alumnus of the College.”

Christian Wakeford MP, who represents Bury South, was one alumnus to speak to students about his progression into politics. He studied A Levels in Business Studies, Mathematics and Politics at Nelson and Colne College.

Christian said: “I was thrilled to be invited to speak as an alumnus of the College. The session was extremely well attended, and I answered a great range of questions from enthusiastic students on a number of topics from COVID-19 to climate change. It was fantastic to be joined by so many, as getting young people engaged with politics is very important to me.

“The session provided a good opportunity to reflect on my career journey and to give some insight on my progression from a councillor in Pendle to becoming an elected Member of Parliament. As my talk also fell on World Book Day, I also had the chance to share some of favourite books that have had the most impact on me as a person.”

“My career journey so far shows how adaptable you have to be to challenges.”

Alumna Elise Munroe, who studied Hair and Media Make-up at Nelson and Colne College, also delivered a session on building up a business. Elise, who is also a part time lecturer in Beauty at the College, took the step of opening up her salon in Barrowford in September in the middle of the pandemic.

Elise said: “It was really good to have the chance to speak to current students and to try and inform their future career decisions. It has been a bit of a surprise personal journey for me as I originally had a five-year plan to have my own salon. Having one at the age of 20 and into year one of that plan was not in the script, but with COVID-19 and not wanting to invite clients to my house where I was set up, I took the plunge when an opportunity came up.

“I also did not expect to be lecturing at College so soon after leaving. I think my career journey so far shows how adaptable you have to be to challenges that you face in your working life, and to seize good opportunities when you can. Nelson and Colne College is an amazing place to study Hair and Beauty. I feel like I can really make a difference to their skills development and knowledge of current trends.”

“You can run a great business from your back bedroom in Bacup.”

Board of Corporation member Steph Bridgeman gave A Level and Vocational students insight into her career journey. She shared her extensive experience in media analytics and how she established her successful business.

Steph said: “I enjoyed delivering my presentations to students. With the A Level students, I tried to get them thinking about their futures. I provoked some thought in them that you don’t have to move to London to be successful. You can run a great business from your back bedroom in Bacup which is what I have done since 2004, measuring the value and impact of PR.

“For the Level 3 Business students, I brought a bit of real-world experience to the session to boost their learning by applying it to the range of topics that they study as part of their programme.”

Principal Amanda Melton said: “As a career focused College, National Careers Week is an important event in our calendar. I’m delighted that we were able to put on a rich and varied schedule of sessions across the College Group to support 16-18-year-old students and our adult learners.

“It is fantastic that alumni and members of our Board of Corporation have again been able to support our current students with valuable careers insight. This has provided them with stories and top tips to take inspiration from as they work towards their own progression pathways.”

To find out more information about studying at Nelson and Colne College or Accrington and Rossendale College, please visit or You can apply online, or contact the Admissions Team at or by calling on 01282 440272.

For more information about Lancashire Adult Learning, and to enrol on a course, please visit or call 0333 003 1717.