Welcome to Ashford College, a local college offering a number of full and part-time qualifications for residents in and around Ashford and East Kent.
Our aim, whether you choose one of our full-time further education courses or an apprenticeship, is to give you the best preparation for your career and make sure you achieve at the highest possible level.
Our campus on Elwick Road, close to the town centre and Ashford International railway station, has a range of purpose-built facilities for our students to use. These include fashion and photography studios, a professional kitchen, music recording studio, hair and beauty salons and multi-media Learning Resource Centre. Our courses are designed to suit your individual needs and, through our Student Support Services, we provide an extensive health and wellbeing programme.
What makes us different?
We are committed to helping you succeed, whatever you choose to study. At our recent Ofsted inspection, we received six Grade 2 'Good' judgements, which included Teaching, Learning and Assessment, our 16-19 study programme, our adult learning programmes, the provision for students with high needs and the personal development, behaviour and welfare of the students.
We offer fantastic state-of-the-art learning facilities and equipment to support your learning. We also have wide-ranging employer links to help us provide invaluable work experience which, together with the excellent tutors, will give you the skills you need for your career.
The College staff are highly skilled in all aspects of College life. They can support you with everything possible to make sure that you quickly settle in and meet new friends. Our professional careers advisers will help you choose the right course, as well as help you to follow your aspirations and find work once you have completed your studies.
We encourage the use of public transport when travelling to College. Our campus is just a short walk from Ashford International train station and also close to the town centre. If you live within Kent, and live more than two miles away from the College, you may be eligible for financial support to assist with the costs of travel. Our Student Support department can offer advice on this.
Engineering & metal work group MJ Allen specialises in machining large complex sand castings, producing parts for the marine and medical industry as well as developing and producing an innovative all-wheel drive gearbox for the new Ford Transit. Their apprentice, Natashia Whitewood, is studying an Advanced Apprenticeship in Engineering Maintenance, which includes the Level 4 Higher National Certificate in Engineering.
Michelle Sinclair, the firm’s HR Manager says: “There is an ageing workforce in the castings and machining area and we’re one of the very few foundries left now in Kent. It’s only been within the last 10 years that we’ve realised the need to implement an apprenticeship programme and we’re really seeing the benefits.
"The scheme had worked successfully in our machine shop, so we implemented it more widely across the business.
“Natashia has come on in leaps and bounds. She is hugely efficient – and it has worked well for everybody. Our Head of Maintenance is very pleased with her progress and the whole team are really appreciative in having such an eager learner.”
Natashia adds: “I was working as a chef, but had decided that the catering industry wasn’t for me – the hours were fairly gruelling and I wanted my Christmas holidays back!
“Being part of the maintenance team offers very diverse work: installation, fault-finding, frame work, roof work, plumbing, welding and casting leak testing. And the requirement to provide evidence for my HNC gives me that extra push in my work.”