Sandwell College joins National Skills Academy as leadership college

25 September 2019

Sandwell College has become the first Further Education college in the midlands to join the National Skills Academy leadership group.

Joining Further Education colleges from across the UK, Sandwell staff and students will have access to an annual programme of training and skills development designed to shape the creative and cultural workforce.

As a leadership college Sandwell College will take a strategic lead in the network alongside eight other colleges, driving initiatives and influencing Post 16 education and training. The leadership colleges of the NSA recognise the significance of the cultural sector to the UK economy. They go the extra mile to ensure the continued growth of the sector by shaping the skills development needed to sustain it.

Robert West, Programme Director, Creative & Cultural Skills said, “We are delighted to have Sandwell College as the newest member of our National Skills Academy. The cultural sector in the Midlands has been growing significantly in recent years and we are thrilled to have the winners of this year’s Education Awards FE College of the Year amongst our leadership group.”

As a member of the network Sandwell will have access to a wide range of opportunities, designed to enhance their work-based learning offering for their students, and support staff to stay up-to-date with the latest skills most sought after by creative industry employers.

I am absolutely delighted to work with the team at Sandwell College and together work to strengthen representation of Midlands colleges at a national level” Ruth Richardson

Creative & Cultural Skills, Partnership Manager, Midlands, Ruth Richardson said, “An extremely rewarding aspect of our role as Partnership Managers is to provide support to member colleges; to share the core offer and develop industry led activity for settings and learners to benefit from. I am absolutely delighted to work with the team at Sandwell College and together work to strengthen representation of Midlands colleges at a national level”

Michelle King, Head of Creative Industries at Sandwell College said, "Sandwell College is delighted to be the Leadership College for the Midlands. The partnership will bring fantastic opportunities for our learners to engage with industry professionals and develop employability skills as well as taking part in national projects to showcase their creativity.  The Midlands has a thriving arts scene and we are looking forward to sharing the unique talents our students have to offer through this programme."

Graham Pennington Sandwell College Principal said, "Sandwell College is delighted to have joined the NSA as a leadership college. Sandwell has a strong commitment at both its Cadbury and West Bromwich campuses to creative industries. We have over 500 students in the creative sector. The creative and cultural industries are a major contributor to both the UK and regional economy and offer many employment opportunities for students as well as contributing socially.

We look forward to working with partner organisations and stakeholders to help promote the creative industries to students and to help ensure the creative areas have a strong pipeline of talent and skills to ensure their continued success. We are excited about our new role as a leadership college in the region and are looking forward to building strong local networks and collaboration."

To find out more about the programme of activity on offer for leadership colleges, visit the National Skills Academy homepage.

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