From education to employment

New Lewisham principal has big local ambitions

THE new Principal of Lewisham College said he’s hoping to make a big impact locally with strong employer partnerships a priority.

Jamie Stevenson, former Group Executive Director for Apprenticeships and Business Development at New City College has been in the role since August. With the new academic year underway, Jamie is looking to strengthen existing employer relationships and develop new ones by asking employers to shape the college’s curriculum and fulfil their own skills needs.

Jamie said: “Out of all the London boroughs, Lewisham is yet to realise its full potential, so I believe there’s a real opportunity to take the foundations of the college and develop it to the next level for our students, for our local community and for the businesses and employers here. To have the chance to come in and be a real part of that journey really drew me to this role. One of my biggest priorities is to ensure that Lewisham is the provider of choice for employers locally. It’s not just about understanding the skills that our students need; its understanding what development our teachers need to stay relevant, and understanding what sectors our local community needs us to be focused on.

In a previous role, Jamie was responsible for setting up training academies for low-carbon green technologies and is naturally hoping to bring this experience to Lewisham College. Jamie wants to ensure that Lewisham College is at the forefront of ensuring students are leaving equipped to fulfil the green skills gaps, regardless of how the political agenda might change. He said: “My vision is for Lewisham College to be known as the place to study if you want to go into a sector such as green skills, digital technology, or the health and life sciences. In London alone, we need more than 600,000 installers for green facilities like EV chargers and solar heat pumps both commercially and in our homes. The government may have moved the goal posts but it’s not going away completely, these are skills we need to focus on. Similarly, with the rise of AI and how fast paced digital transformation is, we know that area isn’t going away. The London Local Skills Improvement Plan (LSIP) aligns with that too.”

Although part of a nationally reaching college group, NCG, Jamie is keen to ensure those national connections support those who live and work within Lewisham. He said: “I want to make sure that we’re doing right by the Lewisham community and that we’re a real community asset. People who live in Lewisham also want to work here, that’s part of its charm, but currently, two of the largest employers are Lewisham College and the NHS trust.

Lewisham is evolving, it currently has a 10-year regeneration project, and this is a prime opportunity for it to develop and find its place in London – to attract more people and commercial ventures into the borough. Lewisham College is very much part of that conversation, working with civic stakeholders and developers to help ensure that the plans are right for Lewisham; that we can respond to the skills needs that come with the change; that our students and residents are going to benefit from the jobs that the regeneration brings. Our national footprint can only be a good thing, giving our staff and students access to expertise from different areas of the country and attract partnerships with employers who work beyond our individual regions.”

To find out more about the courses offered at Lewisham College, visit here.

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