The educational skills needs of our society have been constantly evolving as they should. The role of further education colleges is critical in ensuring vocational education is delivered to meet the skill needs of employers and the industries to which we serve.
The government’s EDUCATION ACT 2012 states that a young person must do one of the following until they are 18:
- Stay in full-time education, for example at a college
- Start an apprenticeship or traineeship
- Spend 20 hours or more a week working or volunteering, while in part-time education or training
The opportunity to study whilst in work through an Apprenticeship:
|NAME||LEVEL||EQUIVALENT EDUCATIONAL LEVEL|
|Higher||4, 5, 6 and 7||Foundation degree and above|
|Degree||6 and 7||Bachelor’s or master’s degree|
We operate at the heart of one of the fastest growing economies in the country – here in the East, food, drink and agriculture is by far the biggest sector and employs the most people. It is critical that for colleges to stay credible and up to date we need to deliver the skills required by industry covering a range of specialist skills, sciences and innovation that will be needed in the coming decades.
However, it would be impossible and wrong for colleges to work in isolation as we would fail miserably. Success lies in active collaboration.
Easton and Otley College is the region’s specialist college for the land-based and agri-food sector and has an important strategic role in developing the local economy as the food chain is the largest manufacturing sector in New Anglia region, generating more GVA and jobs than any other sector. Technology is increasingly being used to address the significant challenges the sector has around productivity, competitiveness and skills shortages. As one of the sectors that will be affected by Brexit more than most, the agri-food sector will need many more skilled and qualified people to adopt and make best use of the new technologies designed to deliver more product, with less resource and with a reduced impact on our environment.
We are committed to the development of high-level programmes and qualifications to meet employers’ and skills shortages identified through LEP skill plans. We recognise that by working collaboratively with both other educational institutions and industry, we can have a much greater beneficial impact than we could individually by enhancing quality standards, increased coverage and improved efficiency of delivery.
We will become a national leader in specialist skills and sciences, a leading academic institution known for innovative ways in which to develop courses to meet the skills needs of our region and our society. We need to be at the forefront of developing technology, science and academic thought development as the country moves into a post Brexit era.
If you wold like to be at the forefront in collaborative and industry led training and upskilling the young people of our future please do get in touch.
Jane Townsend, Principal of Easton and Otley College: firstname.lastname@example.org