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Amelie Hands

Former Plymouth High School for Girls pupil Amelie Hands has a clear goal in mind: to join the police. Having made this decision several years ago, the driven and talented 17-year-old has taken crucial steps towards her future career, one of which saw her in a minority among her school friends when she decided to leave school and take up a place studying for a Level 3 Diploma in Uniformed, Community and Public Services at City College Plymouth. 

Amelie said: “Like me, many of the students on my course are also interested in joining the police, but this course is great for anyone interested in a career in the public sector. It is so varied that you are never bored, and it has the perfect mix of practical and theoretical study.”

This two-year diploma, which is equivalent to three A Levels, is perfect for aspiring police officers, but it is so varied it could lead to careers in any of the public or community services. And for those who are unsure of their next steps, this course provides insight into criminology, law and sociology, whilst also developing essential skills such as teamwork, communication, leadership and social responsibility. 

Amelie, who has been a member of the Volunteer Police Cadets for the past four years and who is currently serving as the High Sheriff of Devon’s Police Cadet – a prestigious award bestowed to those who have shown exceptional commitment to the cadets – has no regrets leaving Plymouth High School for Girls.

Amelie added: “The lecturers are outstanding. They bring the course to life with their own experiences of working within the sector. They all have first-hand knowledge of the careers we are working towards and that is invaluable. 

“I’m hoping to join the police via an Apprenticeship – which will still allow me to study for a degree – but if anything changes in the next year or so, I can still progress to university to study something else, or I could even continue studying public services here at the College with the fantastic Community and Public Services degree. I like the choice the BTEC offers.

“City College is brilliant for supporting people who might be unsure about their futures. The choice of careers on offer can be really confusing, but the staff at the College will take the time to really understand what you want out of your next steps. I feel I am being fully prepared for the police application process, but I’m also enjoying everything I am learning about people, society and the wider world.”