Work with Abingdon and Witney College and help people ‘build a career’ in construction

Work with Abingdon and Witney College and help people ‘build a career’ in construction

Off By Mia Craven

Abingdon and Witney College deliver a broad range of innovative and practical qualifications across Oxfordshire to ensure that their students thrive. We recruit people of all ages, backgrounds and experience to support, represent and lead the College’s operations – and they’re a signatory organisation to the Armed Forces Covenant. 

Career changing opportunities 

We’re very interested to talk with anyone with skills in plumbing or the construction industry in general about joining us to pass on their expertise. 

 We’ve often helped people to change career, to give something back, to utilise the skills they have and pass them on to the next generation. 

 Don’t worry if you do not hold a teaching qualification, the College can support you to achieve this. We support individuals who are keen to change career, such as Service-leavers and Veterans. What’s important to us is that you’re passionate about wanting to  pass on your expertise to keen learners. 

 We’ve invested in a new £3.5million green construction centre in Abingdon to meet the needs of skills training in the sector. As a college we like to ensure we can adapt and evolve in line with both local and economic demands. It’s our intention that the new centre will not only teach innovative techniques but use advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) to supplement the tried and tested approach to vocational education. 

 All we need now, is quality practitioners – like you. 

 Contact our human resources department on tel: 01235 216 424 or email: Humanresources@abingdon-witney.ac.uk or visit: www.abingdon-witney.ac.uk 

Stevie Gass’s transition to Abingdon and Witney College

I left the Military as a WO2 in the Corp of Royal Engineers in April 2020 after 23 years colour service, in good military fashion I started planning my retirement from military life two years prior to leaving. In this time, I ensured I gained transferable skills and qualifications to help navigate into a new career, as I was teaching Bomb Disposal and Search courses at DEMSS training Regiment, whilst leading the curriculum development and delivery, I was able to gain key qualification in teaching, coaching, mentoring and quality assurance qualifications to aid the transition into civvy street.

Failing to plan is planning to fail, therefore I started networking and attending military resettlement and recruitment days. Plenty of companies and businesses noticed the military qualities that all soldiers have gained, so I felt I could pick and choose and ensure I moved into a position that shared my enthusiasm and drive to succeed, but also offer the chance to promote within the organisation. Continuous professional development was also on my agenda, so finding a position which could match the military was also key to my future employment.

Although I had planned my transition well and had gained interest from country wide leading businesses, I didn’t plan to leave in the middle of a pandemic. The military offered me two extra years of service which I greatly appreciated, but I felt I needed to stand on my own two feet and relied on my CV, transferable skills, and life experience to gain employment. I had three interviews in total and was offered all three positions, this provided me with the opportunity to choose the right job to fit me, my family and offer what I required in my next career.

When I applied for a position at Abingdon and Witney College, I knew I had the right qualifications that matched the job description; however, I was worried that my Carpentry experiences were lesser than those who specialised in Carpentry in the civilian world. The process was easy to navigate, and the HR staff were fantastic and offered instant support which I greatly appreciated and felt it helped me prepare well for the interview and the mini lesson delivery. The entire process was swift, and I was guided and helped by all members of the College that I met and was offered the position that same day. My decision of job choice was easy as Abingdon and Witney College treated me with the respect, I think I deserved after my distinguished military career, but also offered me with a great new career and opportunities to grow within the organisation. It was a no brainer and I excepted it straight away.

Eighteen months in, I am now leading the level 1 Carpentry and Joinery course in the Witney Construction building, which currently has 30 students and is like running a Section or Troop. The courses and College have well planned structure and is easy to understand and follow, this helped me transition into the role and become a valued member of staff. I was extremely worried that I would miss the military ethos and being a member of a close team; however, I have found similarities within the College and the Construction team love the banter too.

Developing and gaining new skills was key to me choosing this position and the College has delivered well above my expectations, I completed the first part of my teaching qualifications (CET) in the first year and gained a Carpentry level 3 qualification as I was a Joiner by trade before. I’m now in the middle of completing the final stage of my teaching qualifications and hope to have gained the Diploma in Education and Training by June 2022. These courses would have cost me several thousands of pounds; however, the college has invested in me which demonstrates they want me in the organisation. My faculty Manager Shane has also recognised my previous experiences and qualifications, he was even shocked at the level 6 diploma qualification in leadership, and Management I had, he has now put me forward to attend a management development day to ensure I’m ready to move into a managerial role when an opportunity becomes available.

I loved the Army and was very proud to have served with the best in the Royal Engineers and to have made it to Warrant Officer Class2 status, but all good things must come to an end, plus my body was cashing cheques I could not pay anymore, so it was time to move on and forge a new career. I would highly recommend to anyone leaving the forces to consider taking a position at Abingdon and Witney College, no matter what Service, Corps or Rank, there are opportunities here for you and I honestly believe the College would offer you a fantastic new career in many diverse areas the College delivers.