Further Education is centre stage in terms of supporting skills development across the region. For decades, the FE sector has been pivotal in providing an infrastructure which offers technical and vocational education from levels 1-5.
With the advent of higher level Apprenticeships this role has become even more significant as a new collaborative approach to developing higher level technical skills has been developed between FE, employers and Higher Education Institutions.
Collectively we, the Colleges West Midlands members, have huge resources which we can draw upon.
The collective resource of the FE sector in the West Midlands consists of:
- Combined annual income of over £611 million
- Over 11,000 staff
- £310 million of funding for 16 to 18-year-olds
- £104 million of funding for adult students
- 7,500 teachers.
- Over 252,000 students every year
- 74,000 young people aged 16 to 18 to participate in full-time programmes
- 145,000 adult students
- 27,000 apprentices including 8,000 16 to 18-year-olds
- Engagement with over 12,000 employers.
Our task and ambition
Colleges West Midlands has a mandate to raise the technical skills of young people and adults in full-time education, upskilling in the workplace, undertaking an Apprenticeship or pursuing a higher education programme either full or part-time.
We also offer a second chance for individuals to re-engage in education through a vast range of opportunities including:
- Employability programmes
- English and maths provision
- Programmes for learners with special educational needs and disability (SEND)
- English for speakers of other languages (ESOL)
- Community provision to tackle social exclusion.
Through our offer we are helping to create a high level skills ecosystem that is characterised by:
- A depth of investment by business and differing enterprises which shape the skills system.
- A heightened status for further education and the status of technical vocational skills which are building the “technician class” of employees that business needs.
- The collaboration of education providers across sectors and specialisms to create a network of clusters driving innovation and skills and Higher Education providers that are driving multidisciplinary skills development to modernise industrial practice.