From education to employment

Premier Colleges association launches to join Skills Show 2013

A new working association of FE institutions has brought together 20 colleges and a university to inspire young people and provide career development opportunities through vocational education and training.

A focus on vocational skills is central to each of Premier Colleges’ members, which include Derby College and City of Wolverhampton College; and with this in mind, the association will work to raise aspirations by equipping young people with information about the range of career options available to them – as well as providing a means of pursuing these options.

In a bid to demonstrate its commitment to skills development, Premier Colleges has become one of the premium sponsors of The Skills Show, the UK’s largest skills and careers event, which will be held in Birmingham from 14 to 16 November. As well as boosting the association’s profile, Premier Colleges’ presence at the show will enable visitors to learn about different routes into employment via vocational training, and encouraging them to consider the wealth of options available.

The institutions, around half of which exhibited at last year’s show, will jointly present a series of sessions enabling visitors to sample skills as diverse as nail art, plumbing and vehicle technology. As well as these ‘Have a Go’ sessions, students from some of the colleges will provide performances for the event’s Showcase. In what is described as “a highly visual, stimulating and entertainment-led programme”, the Showcase aims to inspire attendees by demonstrating the achievements of current students: a ‘dance and fashion fusion’ showcase will see students recreate their end of year fashion show, and, in another, students will showcase the design skills they have learned, designing clothing and accessories made from plants.

Mark Knight, chair of Premier Colleges, said: “As a group, we are extremely proud to be a premier sponsor of The Skills Show. Further Education colleges are ideally placed to engage with children and young adults about the benefits of vocational education, skills and careers and The Skills Show provides the ideal forum for us to interact with potential students and their families.

“By coming together, we can increase the impact of our messaging and demonstrate the benefits which further education can provide to the thousands of visitors expected to attend the Birmingham event.”

Ross Maloney, chief executive of The Skills Show, welcomed the new association’s support, saying: “We are delighted to welcome Premier Colleges as a premier sponsor of The Skills Show.

“We are looking forward to working with the new group to extend understanding and awareness of the sector, as well as the opportunities it provides to help young people make the right choices about their next steps.”

Beckie Smith


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