Local leaders work together to ensure a bright future for Further Education

Published 17th June 2016 at 1:55pm

Friday, 17 June 2016

PRESS RELEASE: Local leaders work together to ensure a bright future for Further Education

Friday, 17 June 2016, Sheffield: Yesterday Sheffield City Region (SCR) became the first locally led part of the country to complete its Area Based Review. Area Based Reviews, which are taking place across the UK, aim to ensure that an area’s Further Education (FE) colleges remain financially resilient in the face of funding pressures, to ensure they can continue to deliver credible, high-quality professional and technical training. The successful conclusion of the review sends a clear signal to Government that the SCR’s local leaders and FE Colleges are at the head of the pack when it comes to working together to make decisions that impact on its economy and jobs.

This ‘first’ marks another important milestone in Sheffield City Region’s devolution journey which, by 2018, will see the local budget for adult education and training devolved to the Combined Authority. This means that within two years the City Region will take a direct role in ensuring that college education and training continues to meet current and future skills needs of employers and learners; crucial to the ambitious plans that Sheffield City Region has for the creation of new businesses and skilled jobs across the nine authorities. All six of the City Region FE colleges and two sixth form colleges unanimously accepted the review’s recommendations.

The review started in late 2015 and makes eight recommendations which includes proposed mergers for some colleges and a collaborative approach for Apprenticeship delivery with some colleges in the City Region.

Nigel Brewster, Vice Chair of the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), chaired the City Region’s Area Based Review. He said, “We are delighted with the outcome of the Area Based Review and it has been really impressive how partners have joined together to make proposals that have learners and businesses at their heart. This puts our City Region in a strong position by ensuring that our Further Education sector can deliver the best outcomes for residents, businesses and ultimately the economic growth that our City Region is striving to achieve.”

FE Commissioner Sir David Collins, said, “It is excellent news that Sheffield City Region has successfully concluded its Area Based Review and I am very pleased that the institutions involved all contributed so positively to the process. The Sheffield City Region’s partnership approach to this important work is very welcome and sets a precedent which other areas will be eager to follow. This review means that FE institutions will shape a stronger and more sustainable future for learners and businesses in the area.”

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