From education to employment

Rewards for West Midlands Partnerships in CIB Awards

There was a £3,000 prize up for grabs at the Colleges Innovating with Business (CIB) Awards, held at the Ricoh Arena, to reward innovation by West Midlands” businesses in collaboration with the region’s colleges.

The “Achievement in Innovation” award, which recognised the best potential business and college partnerships in the West Midlands, was scooped by the partnership between Sainsbury’s Learning Centre and North Warwickshire and Hinckley College. The award, sponsored by Staffordshire University, was presented to staff of the partners. There was also an award for Rodbaston College’s, for a project which developed a policing course in conjunction with the Staffordshire Police Authority.

Response in Region

Emma Forster the awards organiser, explained: “We are delighted with the response from Colleges around the region and the innovative ways in which colleges are collaborating with industry. The judging is extremely difficult as the standard of entries was so high but credit must also go to everyone that entered. The now annual event is just getting better and we are already looking forward to 2007.”

The CIB Awards are funded by the Learning and Skills Council (LSC), the body responsible for allocating the FE budget, and were created by Stratford-upon-Avon College in 2005 to reward and encourage partnerships between colleges and businesses in the West Midlands.

The awards are a step in the right direction, as it is clear that businesses and educational institutions must work closely together, to ensure that school leavers and young adults are getting the training that is relevant to the needs of business. The declining opportunities for on-the-job training and apprenticeships within industry, means that innovative solutions to skills shortages must be encouraged and nurtured.

Dan Atkinson

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