colleges west midlands brochure

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developing skills for business success



Colleges West Midlands are forty-five colleges of further education located in the West Midlands region. Together, we provide education and training for over300,000 individuals each year including more than 200,000adults and 100,000 16 to 18 year olds who chose to study at college after completing their compulsory school education.

Our Colleges have a rapidly growing international reputation with more than 3,000 of our students comingfrom outside the UK and over half of those coming from outside the European Union.

We play a vital role in creating an environment in which business can thrive by educating and training young people and adults in the knowledge and skills whichemployers say are essential to their success.

What unites our Colleges is a desire to ensure the greatest return from the investment that individuals and employers make in improving their skills, knowledgeand expertise. Each of the individual Colleges who form

Colleges West Midlands is committed to providing high quality education and training.We represent a huge resource for individualsand businesses to draw on to unlock theirpotential and get the skills and knowledgethey need to succeed.

Graham Morley, Chief Executive of South Staffordshire

College and Chair of AoC West Midlands

Higher skills bring higher productivity. Butthey also allow businesses to become moreefficient and more innovative.

John Hayes MP, Minister of State for Further Education,

Skills and Lifelong Learning

Business is on the mend - and skills is a keydriver. ... Employers are looking to increasetheir investment in training and development,recognising the importance of skills tounlocking business opportunities.

John Cridland, CBI Director-General, CBI Skills Survey 2011

Colleges West Midlands Who we are

Business needs are our starting point. Colleges will work closely with you to understand how a training and workforce development programme fits in with your business plan. We can provide individuallydesigned training programmes lasting from one day to longer programmes of vocational learning which lead to recognised qualifications and are often delivered as part of an Apprenticeship.

Most training programmes can be delivered in the workplace at timeswhich suit you and your employees. And we use the latest learningtechnology to ensure that your employees benefit from the most effective approaches to teaching and learning.

Colleges offer courses and programmes at many levels from post-graduate qualifications and degrees to courses to improve levelsof literacy and numeracy. We run courses which give professionalqualifications and certification as well as courses in leadership, management and business improvement.

The businesses we work with report that investing in skills development leads to significant benefits including:

Greater ability to compete and innovate through a more knowledgeable and skilled workforce

Better staff retention and reduced recruitment costs through an increase in staff morale and motivation

Increased productivity and higher profitability through more efficient business processes and a more flexible, agile workforce

More repeat business through improved customer satisfaction

How we can help

Business benefits

Custom-designed management training

Dudley College and Unite the Union worked together to develop a range of supported training courses for employees at Chamberlin and Hill Castings Ltd,part of the Chamberlin plc group. The support package was delivered at thecompanys onsite learning centre with drop in workshops and flexible attendance allowing employees to attend regardless of shift patterns. Theuptake of staff in improving their skills has been much greater than originallyenvisaged. One noticeable area of success was the number of staff keen toimprove upon their literacy and numeracy skills, as well as completing otherwork-related qualifications.

To accommodate demand from adult learners, we made some radicalchanges to the delivery pattern of many of our learning programmes, including more flexible start dates, opening at weekends, work based assessment and training during unsocial hours. These changes have not compromised the quality of our work.

Lowell Williams, Principal and Chief Executive, Dudley College

Supporting employees to meet new business needs

The G4S management programme at Charterhouse Training, the business training arm of City College Coventry,was developed around a series of themed residential events to focus on the key aspects of management underpinning the corporate strategy. This enabled managers from both the operational and support areas of theG4S business to analyse and discuss issues and opportunities impacting on the organisation. The framework of the course allowed for an exploration of management theory whilst considering practical application. By developing a close working relationship with both the training and development department and operationalmanagers we were ideally placed to translate the unique nature of the G4S business into a nationally recognisedqualification.

Martin Bate, Management Development Consultant, Charterhouse Training, City College Coventry

Mapping the road to success

Colleges can work with you to:

help you decide which Apprenticeship is right for you

explain the way that Apprenticeships might work for you and if funding is available

recruit an apprentice or support your existing staff into Apprenticeships

agree a training plan with your apprentice that meets national quality standards

manage the training and support your apprentice, as they work through the programme

West Midlands company, Falco UK, recruited an Apprentice through Skillsbase at Leek College. Teenager LucyBaker is completing a national vocational qualification in Business Administration whilst being employed as asales coordinator at Falco - a market-leading company selling street furniture and cycle parking systems.

Falco Managing Director Jeremy Green said: Because we are expanding as an organisation we needed tostrengthen the sales and marketing side of the business. Lucy has proven to be a real asset to the companyand, without the Apprenticeship scheme, we could not have afforded to employ her. This way we get the newemployee we need straight away and we get to mould them into our way of working. Lucys role is a vital oneand I have been very impressed with the training shes receiving through Skillsbase at Leek College.

Colleges play a major part in increasing workforce skillsthrough Apprenticeships. These are work-based trainingprogrammes designed around the needs of employers and which lead to nationally recognised qualifications. You can use Apprenticeships to train both new and existingemployees.

Apprenticeships are designed by industry-led organisationswhile the National Apprenticeship Service, a Governmentagency, helps to fund the training. Business representativesfrom the relevant industry work with the Sector SkillsCouncils to develop the course content. Because thesepeople genuinely understand your business, the training willbe relevant to your industry.

In the West Midlands, 18,500 individuals are undertaking anemployer-based Apprenticeship through a College.

Achieving excellenceAchievement rates in our Colleges are first class, with more than 90% of students achieving their intended qualification.

Over 115,000 courses in science, technology, engineering and maths are undertaken by students at our Colleges subjects which businesses say arevital to their success.

100% of our Colleges are judged satisfactory or better for the quality of theirprovision by the national inspection service, Ofsted.

Higher educationColleges provide more than a third of entrants to universities and higher educationinstitutions.

Nearly three-quarters of all Higher National Diplomas and Certificates and over 40%of all Foundation Degrees taught in the West Midlands are taught in our Colleges.

Three-quarters of our Colleges teach undergraduate and postgraduate level courses.

Contributing to the economy The combined income of our Colleges in 2009/10 was 916 million.

We employ 31,000 people, 17,000 of whom are teachers and lecturers.

Our Colleges returned 550 million to staff in wages, salaries, pensions and associated payments in 2009/10.

Government research shows that, nationally, students aged 19+ in further education generate an additional 75 billion for the economy over their lifetimes.And that Apprenticeships generate 40 for each 1 of Government investment.

World skills Two members of Team UK, competing at World Skills London, study at two ofour Colleges:

- Joe Price, representing the UK in Carpentry, completed an Advanced Apprenticeship at Shrewsbury College

- Victoria Richards, competing for Team UK in Floristry, studies at South Staffordshire College

Both were Gold Medal winners in their respective competitions at World Skills UK 2010.

Two of our Colleges hosted the UK Squad and Teamselection events for World Skills 2011.

Participation and success in skills competitions have raised the aspiration of our organisation and has given both staff and students newlevels of pride and confidence in our many different vocational skillsareas. Competitions excite us as a College community and have raised ourprofile on a national and international stage.Marion Plant, Principal and Chief Executive, North Warwickshire & Hinckley College

Birmingham Metropolitan College