Focus on Public Services

Today’s BTECs are more focused, more aspirational and more relevant…….. BTECs are known to increase student engagement, enable students to progress, develop student life skills and add value and variety. Grantham College offer a BTEC LEVEL 2 Diploma/First Extended Certificate/First Certificate/Award in Public Services, BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma in Public Services and BTEC Level 3 Diploma/Extended Diploma in Public Services which are taught in a variety of environments including from the classroom to the top of a mountain.

A team of four staff, with over 32 years of industry experience and 20 years of teaching experience between them, pass on their knowledge, experience and skills to students studying on the BTEC courses allowing them to link theory to real life examples from within the services. Staff have taken jobs in the Royal Air Force, Army, Local Government as well as a variety of colleges and schools over the years.

Students studying on any of the BTEC Public Service courses at Grantham College will not only gain the academic nature of the course but take part in a vast array of trips and visits have the opportunity to listen and ask questions to guest speakers that are organised to broaden the knowledge of the students and enrich their experiences on the course.

In the past guest speakers have included a local magistrate, PCSOs, Special Branch Police – Counter Terrorism, Total Care Security and Armed Forces whilst trips and visits have included kayaking, team building at RAF Cranwell, a weeks adventure training in the Lake District and Snowdon (to include mountain walking, mountain biking, coasteering, sea level traversing), navigation and campcraft exercise in Edale.

Curriculum Leader of Public Services says ‘The course will prepare you for a variety of roles within the public services, the mix of theory and practical activities enhance the learning journey and give the students a breath of knowledge and experience.’


Progression to Higher Education……

On successful completion of any of the BTEC Public Service courses at Grantham College you can progress on to Higher Education, of which you can do with Grantham College on the HNC/HND Public Services course. Previous BTEC Public Service students have been highly successful in gaining university places going on to study degree courses in Disaster Management, Policing Studies, Law and Royal Navy Reserve Officer Training at the likes of Bristol University, Staffordshire University, Durham University and University of Sheffield.

Independent research on progression and career opportunities for young people in the UK demonstrates how BTECs open doors into Higher Education and beyond.

Figures based on research revealed in January 2011 from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) show that:

  • More than 100,000 BTEC students apply to Higher Education and make the university grade
  • In 2011, admissions to UK universities by BTEC students had risen 30% year on year
  • Ninety-five per cent of Higher Education Institutions accept BTEC students, including Russell Group universities
  • More than 50% of 20-30-year-olds going on to higher education are BTEC students
  • 20% of level 3 BTEC holders go on to undergraduate degree courses*
  • With a level 3 BTEC you can boost your lifetime’s earnings by up to £92,000.*

* Independent research carried out by London Economics in 2010.


The world of work…….

When you think of law enforcement and security, the armed forces, the police and the fire service spring to mind. But there is a lot more to this sector than meets the eye…

Those students who decided not to progress onto university after completing a BTEC at Grantham College in 2013/14 decided to go into a wide range of jobs including:

  • RAF Regiment Gunner – Gunner
  • Royal Anglian Regiment – Infantry Soldier
  • Royal Logistic Corps – Driver, Chef, Air Despatch
  • Royal Marines -Marine
  • Royal Navy – Warfare specialist, Supplier
  • PCSOs – Lincolnshire
  • Special Constable – Lincolnshire
  • Paramedic – Oxfordshire
  • Firefighters – Lincolnshire Fire & Rescue
  • Royal Signals – Comms Spec, EOD Troop


What areas can I work in?

Employment opportunities can be grouped into:

  • ambulance service;
  • armed forces;
  • environmental health;
  • emergency planning;
  • fire protection;
  • fire and rescue service;
  • forensic science;
  • health and safety;
  • intelligence and cyber security;
  • police;
  • prison service;
  • private investigation;
  • security;
  • trading standards.

Opportunities can be found in the public sector – in the Civil Service and local authorities – and in private companies and consultancies.

Defence and security companies offer large numbers of graduate opportunities in engineering and IT, for example, the design and manufacture of military aircraft or advanced technology weapons systems. Larger companies also offer graduate opportunities in procurement and supply chain, logistics, finance and HR.


Who are the main graduate employers?

Public sector employers include:

  • ambulance services;
  • fire and rescue services;
  • police forces;


Ministry of Defence (MOD);

  • British Army;
  • Royal Navy;
  • Royal Air Force (RAF).


The Civil Service, including:

  • Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ);
  • Health and Safety Executive (HSE);
  • HM Prison Service;
  • Security Service (MI5);
  • The Environment Agency.


Local authority departments, including:

  • Environmental Health
  • Trading Standards


In the private sector the following large companies offer graduate opportunities relating to defence and security:

  • Airbus;
  • Atkins;
  • BAE Systems;
  • Boeing;
  • G4S;
  • Lockheed Martin;
  • QinetiQ;
  • Rolls-Royce;
  • Selex ES;
  • Serco Group;
  • Sodexo.

There are also opportunities with specialist fire brigades, for example in airports and the oil industry.


What’s it like working in the sector?

Graduates entering the law enforcement and security sector can expect:

  • differing hours of work;
  • fitness, medical or eyesight requirements for some jobs;
  • opportunities to work abroad;
  • to wear a uniform or protective clothing for some jobs;
  • varied working conditions.


What are the key issues in the law enforcement and security sector?

Since the UK’s Strategic Defence Review in 2010 there have been cuts to defence spending, particularly in the army with a 20% planned reduction in regular army members between 2010 and 2018.

There has also been a rise in vacancies in defence engineering and manufacturing thanks to investment in new high-tech military vehicles and equipment.

There has been a marked growth in the security sector. With an increase in fraud, opportunities have increased for private investigators or in-house investigative officers employed by financial, telecoms and retail companies and the NHS. Today approximately half a million people are employed in security roles in the private security sector. It works closely with the police service and provides functions that were previously undertaken by police officers.

The government is working with the defence sector to secure new skilled jobs in the UK cyber security sector, which at the moment provides 40,000 jobs. The £860million National Cyber Security Programme is designed to boost cyber security skills over the next five years.

Another area which is growing is the emergency planning profession due to increased recognition of the need to prepare for major incidents, such as terrorism, flooding and other natural disasters.