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Support service for Year 11 students back by popular demand

Step up Cumbria, previously named Cumbria Activate Your Future, is back by popular demand with a new website. The online resource aims to signpost and prepare Year 11 students and ease the transition between school and further education.

The joint programme, established by Cumbria LEP’s People, Employment and Skills Strategy Group and sponsored by Cumbria Careers Hub, has been updated in recognition that the Coronavirus pandemic has been a particularly challenging time for students, and especially for those leaving school this summer looking to begin the next chapter of their education and career journey.

With ongoing lockdown measures in place, all of Cumbria’s Colleges have offered virtual open events for students, and this online resource will give Year 11 students the opportunity to gain additional knowledge and inspiration to help plan for their future.

Working together, Cumbria’s schools, Colleges, training providers and advice agencies have refreshed the online learning portal where students can access a host of careers guidance resources, followed by a collection of online resources in a range of technical skills areas.

The offer includes introductions to the following vocational subject pathways:

  • Business
  • Construction
  • Engineering
  • Hair and Beauty
  • The Arts
  • Catering
  • Health and Social Care
  • Early Years
  • Information Technology

The self-study packages are free of charge and students will be able to log on to the website from the 19th April.

The learning resources are provided by Carlisle College, Furness College, Kendal College and Lakes College. Information about career opportunities has been provided by Inspira, The Centre for Leadership Performance and Cumbria Careers Hub.

Mike Smith OBE, CLEP Board Member and Chair of its People, Employment and Skills Strategy Group, said: “As young people across Cumbria prepare for the next step in their learning journey it’s essential that we work to encourage and support them in these very challenging times.”

“This project is a great example of collaboration between our schools, colleges, and other providers delivering a project that will support young people as they look to develop their careers here in Cumbria.”

Chris Nattress, Principal at Lakes College West Cumbria said: "We've teamed up to bring inspiration and learning for Cumbrian school leavers aiming to achieve their ambitions through technical education. Lakes College-West Cumbria was delighted to coordinate this project, which has seen partners from across the county come together to deliver a very important resource".

Judith Schafer, Executive Headteacher Solway and Beacon Hill Community Schools and Chair of Cumbria Association of Secondary Headteachers, said: "I am really excited about the re-launch of this platform which will give students an incredible head start on courses for September. Schools will be encouraging students to log on, get started and make the most of this.

“Year 11 students deserve to be supported over this difficult time, and this collaborative project does exactly that - making sure they are engaged in their futures and have their destinations sorted.”

For more information on Step up Cumbria, visit:

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