But now, having toured round the new £45 million campus in Grays, donning hardhats and high vis jackets, they are expecting bigger things than ever, quite literally.
After being blown away by the sheer size of the eagerly awaited development Frank Thompson, From Thurrock Careers who works with The Gateway Academy, said: “From the outside when you walk through Grays the building looks big, but when you are actually inside it and walking round and seeing the scale of everything…it’s massively bigger than you could imagine.”
Meanwhile, Charlie Blackburn, also from Thurrock Careers, was also impressed with the new location of the campus, only 150 metres from Grays Station. He added: “I like the idea that it is centralised in Grays for commuting and I like the facilities it will be offering.”
Touring both the three-storey East Building and four-storey West Building of the ambitious development, the groups may have only been looking at blank canvases of rooms, but after seeing the space and the wealth of courses on offer, including several new areas, all were suitably impressed with what they have seen.
The group saw areas that will eventually include health facilities, a learning resource centre, as well as large specialist workshops and studio spaces linked to courses for technology, media and creative arts, and facilities for art, design, logistics, engineering and IT courses.
Brand courses for the new Thurrock Campus, that haven’t been offered by the College at this campus before, include the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy Level Three course in Enterprise and Entrepreneurship, in addition to the successful programme already run at the Southend Campus. The fast-track course offers students a full level three Diploma in just one year.
The extraordinary growth in the logistics industry in Thurrock, including the new DP World London Gateway port, has resulted in a brand new level three Extended Diploma in Business Logistics and Supply Chain being developed.
There will also be exciting new courses in construction and engineering, an area which has seen a surge in popularity from applicants. New level one courses will be launched in painting and decorating, tiling & flooring, plastering and welding.
Louise Fry, a Information, Advice and Guidance participation consultant from Essex County Council, commented: “It’s really exciting for young people in the local area to have this new vision for education.”
Information, Advice and Guidance staff are one of the key groups in schools for young people to get vital information about what options and opportunities are open to them. On the basis of the reaction to being shown round the new building and hearing about favourite and new and exclusive courses coming to Grays, the hope is now that more will be choosing to study in the new Thurrock Campus come September 2014.
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