Skills Centre

The Skills Centre is part of the Danesgate campus and provides for students who would like to gain experience and qualifications in Land Based Industries, Construction, Hair and Beauty and Catering.

The Skills Centre is accessed by some mainstream and special school students who are sent on courses financed by their school.  We work with all York’s secondary schools plus Applefields School and St John’s School for the Hearing Impaired.

Land-Based Studies

The Land-Based Studies course is a perfect route for those practical people who like to work outside, are not afraid to get their hands dirty and enjoy caring for small animals! The Land-based Studies course is a City and Guilds Level 1 qualification and is mainly assessed practically and one online test. The course combines Horticulture (Gardening), Conservation Work and Animal Care. During the session there is around about an hour of classroom work followed by practical work in the Walled Garden, Woodland and Animal Unit. This practical work enables the individual to learn and develop their practical skills and knowledge. The work involves general gardening duties, cleaning out and caring for our small animals and developing and maintaining the woodland. This qualification is a perfect starter step to further Land-based training.


We have a three bayed workshop area housing joinery, bricklaying and painting and decorating.  We also have access to an outside yard so it feels like a real working environment.  Students can get an award, certificate or diploma (equivalent to 4 GCSEs) in Construction and will cover essential skills in all three disciplines as well as some basic plumbing and electrical work if they go for the full diploma.

Hair & Beauty

Within the Danesgate skills centre there is a full stocked hair salon. The salon also incorporates nail stations and professional make-up artist chairs. This training salon provides the environment to learn and practice skills from both vocational sectors. The qualification offered is a combination of underpinning knowledge/theory of both industries and learning and perfecting practical skills. The qualification has three tiers, Award, Certificate and Diploma Level. The level of qualification is selected to suit individual needs.

  • Introduction to the Hair and Beauty sector
  • DSC_0312-crop-resizePresenting a professional image in a salon
  • Health and Safety in the salon
  • Shampooing and conditioning hair
  • Styling Women’s hair
  • Styling Men’s hair
  • Reception duties
  • Skin care
  • Handcare
  • Applying make-up and nail art
  • Themed face painting


A fully fitted realistic working kitchen is on offer for students studying this subject area.  Students look the part in their ppe wear – i.e. proper chef’s whites.  They learn all the essentials about health and safety in a working kitchen, knife and preparation skills, and key cooking techniques with a public cafe to work in too.