Ian Pretty

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Created at College Campaign

Our college members have a big impact - locally and nationally. Collectively, they represent over 600,000 learners, 30,000 staff and deliver 50,000 apprenticeships every year, effectively filling the skills deficient across key industries.

This week Collab Group are launching an ambitious and exciting campaign: Created At College.

Created At College has been designed to highlight the important relationships between our member colleges and their industrial partners. These relationships bring prosperity to the local economy, they enable colleges to shape dynamic curriculums based on relevant and up-to-date industry knowledge and - more importantly - provide work-based experience and skills to future generations.

With this campaign it is our ambition to showcase how skills are being developed and how businesses benefit by having an available pool of talent to join their workforce.

What you can Expect

Over the following weeks we’ll be promoting key initiatives as part of this campaign. As well as promoting the work of our college members, we hope to provide a better understanding of the current learning climate and the key challenges the country faces. This includes:

  1. A Policy for Change: By assessing the current situation of T-levels, Apprenticeships, funding for Adult Learning and Capital Funding we’ve put together a Policy for change. It has been created in consultation with our members and outlines recommended reforms that this Government can make to ensure that colleges can thrive in this decade and beyond.

  2. Skills Survey: We've produced a Skills Survey in collaboration with EMSI which presents a supply and demand analysis of the Collab Group colleges based on key economic skills needs.

This report highlights where CG colleges are supplying achievements to meet vacancies in key sectors of the economy. We focus on how they are meeting demand across construction and home building, digital and technology, energy and utilities, engineering and manufacturing and retail and hospitality.

The report shows that across sectors like construction and home building Collab Group colleges train individuals whose skills correspond with 24.8 % of all job openings in the sector. Or in the energy and utility sector, participating Collab Group colleges deliver skills that align with 26.9 per cent of the job openings required by the sector.

There is still opportunity for expansion to better align skills output with the needs of industry, but the report does demonstrate the sizeable contribution that CG colleges are making to grow the talent pool and in turn increase economic growth and productivity.

  1. Microsite: We’ve also launched a new micro site to make it easier for employers to discover the value of working in partnership with our colleges. Employers can learn about how our colleges are working collectively to provide the talent powering the economy and filling skills gaps. They can also access case studies, learn about how we're supporting key industries and sign up to get involved.

Our Ambition

This campaign comes at a time of great significance. A decade of austerity has reduced vital funding for colleges and businesses resulting in a steady decline in the uptake of apprenticeships. Over the following months it will also become apparent how our withdrawal from the EU and a more hostile immigration policy will impact on the country’s ability to attract and retain talent from overseas.

While campaigning to highlight these challenges, we also want to emphasise that our colleges have the skills and capability to make a significant contribution towards overcoming these challenges. However, we must therefore continue to campaign for improvements and vital funding for our FE colleges so that we can collectively deliver pioneering training and skills development. #CreatedAtCollege will prove that our colleges are vital to the government’s wider “levelling up” agenda.

Get Involved

As we continue to raise awareness of the importance of FE colleges and the work they do with business, it is our aim to support businesses across the retail, manufacturing, construction, digital and tech industries. Although these industries are the essential backbone of our country’s economy there remains a significant shortage of skills.

It is therefore vital that businesses continue to work with FE colleges to deliver pioneering programmes that can support and enhance the country for sustained prosperity. Visit our microsite or get in touch to find out how Collab Group can help your business begin working with a college today.

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