Response to the government’s Skills for Jobs white paper from the Principal

Yiannis Koursis, Principal and Chief Executive Barnsley College, and Chair of the South Yorkshire Principals’ Group, said: “We support the ambition and focus of this white paper, with its emphasis on bringing further education into the conversation around skills, strategic support to employers including co-developing future technical education, green economy, and future employment, and the levelling up agenda.

“Colleges must continue to rise to the challenge and offer solutions that drive the future economy, meet the nation’s skills gaps, and present an opportunity for real progression to learners.

“Barnsley College has worked with thousands of employers, addressing their skills need, adapting our curriculum to meet employment demand, and working with them to develop the workforce of the future. We are working with businesses to lead the economic recovery and meet employers’ needs, both now and for future roles, by providing students and adults with the skills to succeed.

“This promise by the government, backed by investment in the sector, will enable us to go even further, drawing on our unique knowledge and specialist expertise providing a huge boost to our local, regional and national economic needs.

“We believe that every adult has the right to life-long education and training, ensuring they have the skills to succeed in the new and future economy. Adult learning drives the economy by ensuring that workers are more skilled, more productive, and happier.

“Barnsley College is best placed to deliver the required education, training and opportunities for all learners. It is welcomed that the government are looking to further support and enhance the sector to help us continue to deliver robust, in-demand training and qualifications, helping us to reignite the economy.

“With the right level of backing, colleges can significantly expand their offer as a strategic support to employers across innovation and skills. This is critical as we work with employers to recover from the impacts of the pandemic, and crucial too as we urgently move to a green economy in response to the climate emergency.

“Barnsley College is committed to being actively involved in the social and cultural development of our community, raising aspirations and driving social mobility. With the backing promised, we can go further with our plans and become a leader for societal and civic change, collaboration and positivity.

“Our ongoing, ambitious programme of working with employers, co-developing our curriculum, and building impactful partnerships within the region and beyond, offers a real chance for us as a College, and as a sector, to play a huge part in the future economic recovery and success of the country.”

Last updated: 26th January 2021

Originally posted on: 21st January 2021