Business and college leaders come together to ensure best possible opportunities for students

Published 24th September 2015 at 9:46am

Business leaders from the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) are working with nine local colleges to review the Sheffield City Region’s future economic and educational needs.

The Area Based Review (ABR) takes place as the LEP negotiates proposals with Government on a second devolution deal, which would see further powers and funding handed to local leaders to create 70,000 jobs and 6,000 new businesses over the next decade.

An ABR Steering Group has been set up to oversee the Review and it will be co-chaired by private sector LEP Board members Julie Kenny and Nigel Brewster. The Group will be made up of Chairs of Governors from the ten Sheffield City Region colleges, supported by their chief executives and/or principals. Government commissioners and representatives from Education Funding Agency (EFA) and Skills Funding Agency (SFA) will also make up the Group.

Julie Kenny (CBE), ABR Steering Group co-chair, said: “Our Review is being designed to grow the local economy and ensure that young college leavers in Sheffield City Region are getting the skills that our local businesses need, now and in the future. Improving opportunities for local young people to get the qualifications to succeed is at the heart of this work.”

Nigel Brewster, ABR Steering Group co-chair, said: “This Review will give local leaders and colleges a firmer business case as we negotiate greater control over funding and powers from Westminster. I’m looking forward to working closely with these nine high quality colleges to make sure our skills provision and business needs are the closest match possible.”

The nine colleges involved in the Review are Barnsley College, Chesterfield College, Dearne Valley College, Doncaster College, North Nottinghamshire College, Rotherham College, Sheffield College, Longley Park Sixth Form College and Thomas Rotherham College.

The nine Colleges involved are already working together collaboratively and in a joint statement said: “We will be actively involved in the area review and work with all of the stakeholders to achieve the best possible outcome for further education provision in the Sheffield City Region. There is an opportunity to increase our contribution to employers by addressing skills gaps and supporting regional economic growth which, in turn, will help to create jobs and careers for our students, and support our local communities.”

The first Sheffield City Region ABR Steering Group will take place on Monday 28 September and the Review is expected to be completed by Spring 2016 with recommendations being followed over the next four years. Sheffield City Region is among the first wave of areas in the UK to undertake an ABR, alongside Birmingham and Greater Manchester.

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