The Bedford College Group has added to its regional influence in being the gateway to apprenticeships following the purchase of the private Aston Training group in Northampton.
Existing employers and some 140 apprentices will enjoy the same benefits of working with Aston, but now with the backing of this powerful college, which is the No 1 provider of career-related courses with companies across Bedfordshire, Northants, Milton Keynes and Luton.
Debbie Houghton, Director of Apprenticeships with the Group, which includes Tresham College, said: “We are delighted to be working with employers and apprentices since formally taking over Aston from Wednesday 30th September 2020.
“Apprentices now become an apprentice of The Bedford College Group. To all intents and purposes the apprenticeship staff will remain the same. Aston will remain as the named provider, but formally this is now owned and controlled by the Group.
“All other services will continue as before. Employers and apprentices will still be supported via the local office. Any further advice will be available from the Aston team member.”
Ian Pryce CBE, Principal and CEO of The Bedford College Group met staff on Thursday 8th October at the Aston premises in Northampton town centre. He said: “We are very impressed with the quality of the staff and environment at Aston Training. They will be a valued addition to The Bedford College Group.”
The Bedford College Group was formed with the merger of Bedford College and Tresham College in 2017. Now the largest non-metropolitan college in the UK, the Group offers the widest range of FE subjects particularly in technology and engineering, but including Agriculture and Zoological subjects at the rural Shuttleworth College campus.
In Northamptonshire, the Group has seen a large growth in student numbers at its Corby and Kettering campuses, a £10 million refurbishment and re-launch this September of its Wellingborough campus and the opening of town centre Learning Centres in Kettering and Corby to bring free IT training to adults.
Students can progress on campus, or via links with local universities, on to Higher Education or degree-level learning across a wide range of subjects from The Arts to Engineering.