Priestley Careers Programme

At Priestley College we understand the nature of employment in the UK and beyond is constantly changing, with an increasingly competitive job market and rising university fees and the ‘gig’ economy.

In order to help inspire our students to meet the challenges set by these changes, we aim to provide a comprehensive package of impartial Careers Education Information, Advice and Guidance.

This CEIAG is available to students during the application process to college, during their studies, and to former students. A Careers Adviser is available for advice and guidance at all college events such as open and interview evenings as well as during enrolment.

All students have access to high quality CEIAG from experienced staff. This enables them to understand all available options and make informed decisions. It means they can plan their progression from college be that in Higher Education, an apprenticeship option including Higher/ Degree Level Apprenticeships, or some other progression route.

Relevant Labour Market Information is made available to all students and the college sits on the Local Enterprise Partnership’s Data and Labour Intelligence Market Steering Group. This group draws on data sources including national databases (eg. Nomis and Employers’ Skills Survey), local data sources (eg. EMSI Analyst toolkit and the ESFA data cube) and employers, to inform local skills and education priorities.

Career pathway and progression information is available on each course/subject page of the college’s website, allowing students and parents to research LMI directly relating to their existing or future study programmes and career aspirations.  This is also promoted positively through tutorials and research tools that all students have access to including Unifrog and the college website

The college CEIAG work is led by the Assistant Principal Mark Eccleston (Student Support Services) who is part of the college Senior Management Team.  The team underpinning this work includes the following individuals:

  • Adam Bird – Marketing, Admissions and IAG Manager
  • Mark Edgington – Senior Tutor responsible for Work Related Learning & Enrichment
  • Chris Lee – Senior Tutor responsible for Progression
  • Ian Edge – Careers Adviser
  • Charlie Dunbar – Careers Adviser
  • Pam Gardner – Industry Placement Coordinator
  • Ruth Saastamoinen – Work Related Learning / Work Experience Project Post

The eight Gatsby benchmarks outline current best practice in CEIAG and as a college we are committed to ensuring our provision meets and exceeds these benchmarks. We are keen to ensure the opportunities and support we provide for students on all our programmes of study are of the very highest standard.

Much of this work takes place through the weekly tutorial system, and is recorded and evaluated using the Unifrog system (see below). In addition, we organise a programme of work experience, a series of speakers, workshops and visits throughout the academic year to provide students with the latest information about the local, national and international labour market, as well as specialist presentations from representatives of many professions and university departments.

CEIAG best practice is shared via The Challenge Academy Trust inter-school CEIAG Hub.  As a member of TCAT the college takes advantage of its partnership with Oxford University to ensure all students are challenged to reach their full potential. In addition, there are regular presentations about volunteering opportunities, which for many students are a crucial way of confirming their career ideas. The full programme is available above.

Advice and guidance is available from our qualified and experienced Careers Advisers who both hold the Level 6 Diploma in Careers Guidance. They are available in person, as well as via telephone and email every day, to offer one-to-one impartial guidance to students and their parents / carers, typical areas for discussion include;

  • Long-term career choice
  • Subject combinations
  • University applications
  • Student finance
  • Apprenticeship & training opportunities
  • Job search techniques
  • Professional CV and letter writing

The college careers advisers deliver sessions within the tutorial programme to support our team of progress and personal tutors. There is a referral process between all college tutors and the careers advisers to identify students at the point when they will most benefit from one-to-one advice, as well as those at risk of having their college place withdrawn in order to prevent them from becoming NEET.

Careers advisers also liaise with a range of statutory agencies and partners such as the local authority ‘Warrington Life’ team to support students on completion of their studies at college.

All our classroom and individual careers work is supported and enhanced by a wide range of online resources as well as our Careers Moodle/Google Classroom pages, which all our students can access via any internet enabled device. This contains a wide range of resources, including labour market information, for students to use as part of their own career development.

The college self-assesses its CEIAG internally using quality assessment tools including the Careers and Enterprise Company ‘Compass’ tool and its own Gatsby criteria recording systems.  The Operations Management Team ensure that CEIAG is embedded across all faculty and pastoral areas of the college.

The fully integrated nature of the college’s work in relation to CEIAG has been recognised by the external quality assurance awarding and reaccreditation of the Matrix quality standard for information advice and guidance services since 2013.  In order to provide students with the most up to date information advice and guidance we also work with the following organisations:


Cheshire and Warrington Pledge

We would like to highlight a new initiative from the Cheshire and Warrington Pledge, hosted by the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) which is launching a series of interactive online live broadcasts aimed at students aged 11-18 years to help young people to access career support and guidance whilst in the lockdown period.

The sessions bring a host of Cheshire and Warrington based employers, universities, colleges and training providers who will talk about careers, employability skills and training pathways and young people have the chance to ask questions in real time through the live chat functionality to interact with the speakers safely.

We would encourage you to schedule these sessions into your week and where possible watch these sessions live, however these will remain on the site for 12 months and questions can be submitted after broadcast. For more information and to see the initial schedule of sessions visit PLEDGE

The series run every Tuesday and Thursday at 11am for 30 minutes to one hour for the duration of the summer term.

Learn Lounge

Learn Lounge by Springpod have lined up an amazing set of speakers to help inspire and support you because your future doesn’t have to wait for things to return to normal.

Get full details and list of speakers below, everyone from polar explorers to football managers and TV hosts.

The Careers & Enterprise Company is the national network set up to inspire and prepare young people for the fast-changing world of work. Its role is to connect schools and colleges, employers and careers programme providers to create high-impact careers opportunities for young people across England.

Some of the possible career paths you could take are highlighted in these Careers & Enterprise videos. At Priestley we are keen to help students find the right path for them whether that be university, employment or an apprenticeship.

Jack an apprentice at  

Bailey fulfils ambition to become a carpenter

Rebecca and Katie excel in engineering

Meet Alex, a bright and brilliant apprentice in the Cabinet Office

Callum’s apprenticeship led to a brilliant career

Mia on how she became a Campaign Planner

Bejay from Supa

Dr Radha Modgil, GP and Broadcaster

Elysia, Anglian Water

Alexandra, graduate scheme at Tesco


Chris Jones, Managing Director of Think Specialist Recruitment discusses what young people might expect and how graduates and school leavers can make their mark with employers > Read the article

Working Options in Education have prepared a jam-packed schedule of virtual career sessions for young people to join at the click of a button. It is a welcome resource during this time. Please find the full list of events for June and July by visiting their website here > Working Options

The Higher Horizons website has lots of useful resources including:

  • All About Apprenticeships (Level 2 / 3 for Post 16s)
  • Higher and Degree Apprenticeships Explained (As it says on the tin!)
  • The Art of Interviewing (A guide to different types of interviews with some practice tasks)
  • Guide to Application Forms (Focused on job applications, with some practice tasks for CV writing, supporting statements etc.)

Please fill out the feedback form whenever you complete one of the sections. Go to > Higher Horizons

Students are being coached through the tutorial programme to use Unifrog as a diary of their experiences, skills and activities that they have whilst at Priestley College.

It is an award-winning online platform which will help our students to make intelligent choices about their future, while allowing tutors to track their progress. Students will be able to use Unifrog for both apprenticeship and university searches and the platform can be used in conjunction with the UCAS website.

This may include any university contact via presentations that may take place in college, or taster days,  work experience, competitions, assignments that have developed specific skills, sports teams, enrichment activities even DofE. Click here to sign in.


Set up parental access to Unifrog

This is very useful if you want to see what the system does, help your child to research options or just take a look at what is available in higher education. You will not be given access to your child’s account, but you will be able to access the system and make use of it.


Step 1: open UNIFROG, this is found at:








Step 2: this screen will appear, click on SIGN IN FOR THE FIRST TIME









Step 3: this screen will appear.  In the FORM CODE put parentpriestley (as shown) and fill in the rest: