New College Pontefract students focus on their future 

Preparing for life after college was at the forefront for a group of Year 13 learners at New College Pontefract as they took part in an immersive ‘Future Focus’ day.   

The event kicked off with a session delivered by motivational speaker Adam Corbally, who reached the final in The Apprentice in 2012. His interactive presentation traced his personal journey, from leaving school at 16 without any qualifications to starting his first business after returning to education. Focused on the lessons he learned along the way, he offered a great source of inspiration to start the day. 

This was followed by an Employability workshop which focused on key employability skills. Delivered by Go Higher West Yorkshire (GHWY) Progression Officer Zoe Peters and two GHWY Outreach Officers, Will France and Rebecca King, the workshop was filled with thought-provoking activities. This challenged learners to apply these skills in real time, assess their strengths and weaknesses, and reflect on how they can develop themselves further. 

Post-lunch, Wakefield Employment Hub talked about the services it offers and then moved into an interview session with ‘speed date’ interviews that pushed the energy level sky high for a strong end. The learners did a great job at connecting skills to experiences and speaking confidently.  

The event was well received all around and Adam, who stayed for the entire event, said he “loved every second of it.” Learners benefitted greatly from all three sessions, giving feedback such as:  

  • “I gained a more stable understanding of how to become more employable and how to approach an interview with more confidence.” 
  • “Having both team and individual engagement was really useful and helped my confidence.” 
  • “I learnt a lot from the PowerPoints and the speakers who all made me feel included and confident.” 

The event gave students the opportunity to be inspired, encouraged, and to recognise the tools they’ll be taking with them into the wider world once they leave college.  

It’s widely recognised across the Uni Connect project, which is delivered by GHWY, that providing opportunities for students to develop these skills in unique and specialised environments can really have a significant impact on the future of the learners across West Yorkshire. 

It’s hoped that this will be the first Future Focus event of many. Zoe said she was, “Really pleased with how the event went and I have taken away lots of positive feedback to make the next one bigger and better.” 


Zoe Peters, GHWY Progression Officer, New College Pontefract