Careers support

Ensuring each and every student achieves their vision for their future 

From day one, we match our support to the individual career aspirations of our young people. We have a proven track record in helping students to pursue careers across a whole range of sectors. We help students to improve their employability potential through a bespoke support package including one-to-one careers appointments, career focused tutorials, access to work experience placements, interview preparation and much, much more! 

The aim of our programme is to enable students to make informed decisions about their next steps, and support them towards securing a positive destination after College. We make use of the Gatsby benchmarks to shape our provision and ensure that all of our students receive their careers education entitlement and more. Click here to view the Gatsby benchmarks. Our teachers ensure students are well informed about the possibilities on offer from their relevant subjects, and our Progress Tutors support students as they take important decisions about their next steps. 

Meet the team

Our Careers team is as follows:

  • Joe Norton – Careers Leader
  • Ben Wise – Careers Advisor
  • Lindsey Woodward and Liz Hurst – C+K Careers Advisors
  • Maria Dean – Assistant Principal Teaching & Learning

You can contact any member of the team via or the main College switchboard 01484 652341. 

Personal career guidance 

All students have access to personal career guidance appointments with professional Careers Advisors. Students can ‘self-refer’ and book an appointment through Moodle. They can also be referred by any member of staff in College.

In personal career guidance appointments, we can help students explore their interests, identify their skills, understand their options and support them with their applications as relevant. There is no limit on the number of careers appointments that students can have, and we will work with them as much as we need to in order to support them to secure their future ambition.

We encourage all of our students to have a careers appointment during their time with us to ensure that they have the support they need with their career planning and progression


Unifrog is a one-stop-shop where our students can easily explore their interests, then find and successfully apply for their desired next step after College.

We introduce students to Unifrog through the Aspire tutorial programme, and it will be repeatedly revisited throughout their studies with us. Students can access Unifrog at any time to support their career planning – the more they use it, the better prepared for their career they will be!

All of our students have access to Unifrog throughout their time with us. To log in to your account, click here.

Applying to university 

Here at HNC the majority of our students opt to progress to university upon completion of their studies. The majority of HNC students choose to progress to university after completing their studies with us. 

Students are supported with the UCAS application process through the Aspire tutorial programme – this begins towards the end of Year 12 and continues through Year 13. Through tutorials, students are encouraged to research their university options from an early stage, making use of, and 

Our Careers team offers:

  • Expert advice on the UCAS application and personal statements
  • Advice and support with Student Finance and accommodation options
  • Opportunities to apply for university Widening Participation schemes
  • Opportunities to attend university events, both in person and online
  • Opportunities to apply for summer schools
  • An annual Progression Conference to explore university options

You may also be interested in this interactive information portal from UCAS which explains more about University and the application process.

Work experience

All students are encouraged to take part in work experience. Some students have work experience as a compulsory element of their course whilst we support others to secure relevant and safe work experience placements. 

Students who are seeking work experience placements can book an appointment to see our Work Experience Officer to explore their options. Students can also discuss their options for work experience within personal career guidance appointments.

You can view our Work Experience Policy here.

Virtual work experience has widened access to a great number of industries that work experience was previously very difficult to access within, and virtual opportunities are regularly advertised in our weekly careers bulletin.

Students can also explore virtual work experience opportunities via Speakers for Schools,Springpod and Uptree.

Applying for apprenticeships and employment 

An increasing number of HNC students progress to apprenticeships and employment after they finish their studies with us. Apprenticeships are an exciting, varied and interesting way to train in a sector and are available to all ages and abilities. Students who secure an apprenticeship are at work for 80% of this time, with the other 20% of time protected for off the job training towards a relevant qualification. 

There are 4 levels of apprenticeship: Intermediate (Level 2), Advanced (Level 3), Higher (Level 4/5), and Degree (Level 6/7). 

Higher and Degree apprenticeships are a great alternative to university, providing an opportunity to work towards a higher level qualification whilst being paid and gaining valuable experience.

Whilst these are fantastic opportunities, it is important to note that they are not available in every career area, and they are very competitive. Students need to be proactive in searching and applying for opportunities throughout Year 13. Unlike applying for university, there is no centralised application process for apprenticeships. They can be advertised in multiple places, or some companies will only advertise on their own careers pages.

Students can apply for these opportunities alongside completing their UCAS application – they can apply for both university and apprenticeships and make their decision later.

Apprenticeship vacancies are advertised on platforms including National Apprenticeship Service, UCAS, C&K Careers, NotGoingToUni and GetMyFirstJob.

As a Careers team, we offer:

  • Expert advice on completing applications and preparing for interviews
  • Opportunities to attend employer events, both in person and online
  • Opportunities to attend employability workshops
  • An annual Progression Conference to explore apprenticeship and employment options
Taking a gap year

Taking a gap year is a fantastic way to gain experience and see new places, and they are also very useful for trying things out before committing to a career or a degree. Some students may also need to take a gap year to build up the experience they need to be eligible for certain degree courses.

It is very important that a gap year is spent wisely, so that students have lots of great things to tell employers and universities about. This could include travelling, working part or full time, volunteering, working on projects, or a combination of all these things.  

Students who are wanting to take a gap year are advised to speak to one of our Careers Advisors to discuss how they plan to spend this and for advice on how to make best use of it.

For general advice and guidance about Gap Years, Independent Gap Advice provides impartial advice for young people.

Labour Market Information (LMI) 

Labour market information (LMI) tells us about the current work and job environments in specific regions. It includes information about specific companies, industries and occupations.

The Future Goals website has some really useful Labour Market Information regarding the Leeds City Region (Craven, Harrogate, York, Bradford, Leeds, Selby, Kirklees, Calderdale, Wakefield and Barnsley). Students can also make use of Careerometer. It offers varied information about different roles available in the UK and some LMI regarding this, such as average hours worked, average salary, and whether the workforce in that industry is projected to increase or decline over the next 5 years. This can be then compared to different jobs. 

Current HNC students can also access comprehensive labour market information about careers they are interested in by making use of the Careers library on Unifrog.

Information for parents/carers 

Deciding what to do after College is a big decision for any young person to make, and it is likely that your son/daughter will want to discuss this with you. 

As parents and carers, you have a key role to play. We want all of our students to move on to a positive destination that is right for them. Encouraging your son/daughter to engage with their career exploration and planning from an early stage will help us ensure that they are well prepared to take the right next step for them.

Hopefully the sections above provide you with information that helps you understand the variety of choice that your son/daughter has after completing their study at College. In addition to this, our local careers hub have produced a website that is full of information that is aimed at parents and carers – this is an excellent place to start when thinking about supporting your son/daughter with their progression.

You can also access further information on the Careers section on Moodle (please note that this will require your son/daughter to log in to their account).

If you have any questions about our careers provision, or would like to discuss your son/daughter’s career progression, please contact

Information for employers and education providers

We are always keen to engage with employers, higher and further education institutions and understand how they can contribute to our careers programme and support our students.

If you would like to be involved with supporting our students with their career development, please contact You can view our Provider Access Policy here.

Applying to university as a former HNC student

If you left us in 2023 and are applying to university for 2024 entry, we are able to check your application and provide your reference in the same way we do for our current students.

To request support, you will need to complete this form

Your application support will be provided by the Careers team. We will advise you on how to link your application to the College and we will provide support by email and phone.

Please be aware that we are busy supporting our current students with their university applications, and therefore we need you to give us plenty of notice to ensure we can provide you with appropriate support. If you are aiming to meet the external UCAS deadline of January 31, 2024, please contact us by November 6, 2023, so we have the time to provide detailed and thorough support. Any requests after midday on January 8, 2024, will be supported, but we cannot guarantee significant support at this late stage.

Early applicants have a UCAS deadline of October 16, 2023. You should aim to have your application ready by October 2, 2023.

Information for students who left HNC before 2023 

If you choose to apply to university more than a year after leaving us, we will not be able to check your application. Where we are best placed to do so, we will provide your reference, but depending on your circumstances we may no longer be the right organisation to provide this. If this is the case, we can discuss your options with you.

To request a reference, you will need to complete this form. We will then contact you to advise you on how to request this reference through UCAS.
If you request a reference through UCAS without contacting us beforehand, we will not respond to your request until we hear from you.
If you have any questions about how the careers team can support your application, please contact us at

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