‘Buxton and Leek College provided access to a better life’

Darren Spencer - Buxton and Leek College
Darren Spencer - Buxton and Leek College

A Buxton man who left school at 16 found the key to a new exciting career in the civil service was a course through his local college.

After eight years of working in unfulfilling jobs, Darren Spencer - then aged 24 - decided he wanted more from his working life.

He took the first step via an access course at Buxton and Leek College, following then he was accepted onto a course at the University of Surrey and has now won a place on the Department for Transport’s (Civil Servant) Graduate Programme.

The 28-year-old said: “The one-year access course at Buxton and Leek College is the equivalent to A Levels, so it was perfect.”

“As it is an access course to higher education there is an understanding, especially by the lecturers, that your previous education may be limited. I left school when I was 16, so I had not been in education for eight years. There were others in the cohort who had not been in education for a lot longer. But the course material was very accessible and the lecturers taught in a way that made it enjoyable for everyone.”

Darren graduated with a first-class degree with honours in international tourism management and was also awarded the ‘Signet Award’ as the best final year student on his course.

He said: “It sounds clichéd but Buxton and Leek College really has made my dreams come true.”

For more on courses available at the college, call 0800 074 0099.