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Curriculum Lead & Development Officer for Skills Development & Pre-Employment

From working in Devonport’s Dockyard in the heart of Plymouth to standing in Buckingham Palace and speaking with the Duke of Edinburgh, Steve’s career has definitely taken a turn …

Having worked at the College for 25 years, Steve kicked off his career in education as a training officer, working predominantly with adults. After a year or so, Steve realised he had a real passion for working with young people, especially those who had tough experiences or faced barriers in their education and training. Not long after, Steve’s mission became clear: “I wanted to bridge the gap between these young people and mainstream education, training, employment or Apprenticeships.”

In his current position, Steve is committed to helping students in the Skills Development and Pre Employment department at the College to become the best versions of themselves. This commitment extends beyond the classroom and into the community through collaborative efforts with various external agencies across Plymouth and the South West region. These partnerships include local authority schools, adult social care settings, outdoor activity centres, watersports centres, conservation groups, the National Trust, the Association of Colleges (AoC), Dartmoor National Park, and the Army.

“Our partnerships are key to providing a diverse range of experiences for our students. These collaborations enable us to offer opportunities that go beyond the traditional classroom setting, fostering personal growth and community involvement,” Steve explains.

It’s these partnerships that allow the Skills Development and Pre Employment department to offer countless opportunities to support and challenge their students, providing experiences they may not have found elsewhere. Steve’s goal is to shape his students into valuable citizens and positive role models in the community. And, despite a set curriculum, Steve values the adventures that each day in his department brings …

“Yes, we ensure our students are taught exactly what they need to know to pass their qualifications, but that’s not everything we do. We build a lot of stories together as a department, we support each other, and we laugh a lot – I think we all know how important that is. Everyday is a new adventure!”

Turning to the structures of education, Steve championed the belief that SEN and sk students with additional barriers to learning are integral parts of the educational community, and should be treated as such.

“The College is in a unique position where we don’t segregate our SEN students. Whilst we have our own department, where we ensure they have the right support should they need it, our students have access to the same departments, facilities and College-wide support as mainstream students.”

Steve’s commitment to fostering inclusive, supportive, and opportunity-rich environments has not only benefited students but also set a standard for educational excellence.