Sheffield’s civic leaders have lent their support to a campaign that champions the positive impact of further education colleges.
The Sheffield College organised skills challenges and demonstrations, and campus tours, involving city chiefs to celebrate Colleges Week 2023.
Colleges Week shines a light on further education colleges’ vital role in strengthening communities, boosting the economy and transforming lives through learning.
Angela Foulkes, Chief Executive and Principal, The Sheffield College, said:
“We educate and train 1000s of young people and adults every year to prepare them to go further in their careers.
“Colleges Week is an opportunity to highlight the brilliant work that goes on in colleges and the phenomenal staff who make it possible. We were delighted to share that with some of the city’s civic leaders and decision makers.”
Led by the Association of Colleges, this year’s campaign ran from 9th to 20th October. Local dignitaries visited the college during the two-week campaign period to see first-hand the benefits that FE colleges bring to their communities.
Guests included Olivia Blake, Sheffield Hallam MP; Cllr Colin Ross, Lord Mayor of Sheffield; Susan Ross, Lady Mayoress of Sheffield; and Professor Dame Hilary Chapman, the Lord-Lieutenant of South Yorkshire.
Officials from the Department for Education, South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority, South Yorkshire Regional Skills Board and University of Sheffield also took part.
Guests saw some of the latest technology and facilities at City Campus and Olive Grove Campus. This included plans for a green curriculum and transforming Olive Grove Campus into an Advanced Technology Centre for the city.
The campus estate is set to expand following the approval of £2.6 million from the Department for Education for 2023/24 to meet the latest employer skills.
These skills include the shift of study, within the motor vehicle industry, from traditional petrol and diesel vehicles to sustainability and the use of electric and hybrid ones.
Olivia Blake, Sheffield Hallam MP, said:
“Colleges Week is a fantastic initiative which rightfully shines a spotlight on the invaluable contributions of institutions like The Sheffield College to our city.
“During my visit to Olive Grove Campus, I had the privilege of witnessing first-hand the remarkable work being done to educate on hybrid and electric cars, promote a green curriculum, and expand the campus into an Advanced Technology Centre.
“The passion and dedication of all the staff I met with was infectious and truly inspiring. I have nothing but huge admiration for the pivotal role they play in equipping young people with the skills they need to not only succeed but thrive in their chosen careers.”
Professor Dame Hilary Chapman, the Lord-Lieutenant of South Yorkshire, added:
“The Sheffield College has a vital role in the city and region helping young people and adults get the qualifications and skills they need for employment and successful careers. I am delighted to be able to see that first-hand as part of this year’s Colleges Week celebrations.”
Cllr Colin Ross, Lord Mayor of Sheffield, commented:
“I was very pleased to be able to visit The Sheffield College as part of the celebration of Colleges Week. It was particularly interesting to see work in the new technology areas such as air source heat pumps and electric vehicle servicing.
“It demonstrates how the college is training people to adapt to these new technologies. Of course, it was a real pleasure to round off the visit with lunch in the fabulous restaurant!”
The Sheffield College, which is Ofsted graded ‘good’, works with a wide range of employers. Other curriculum involved in Colleges Week skills demonstrations included catering and hospitality, games design, health and social care and media make-up.
Visitors were also shown a £360,000 state-of-the-art medical training facility at City Campus featuring a six-bed hospital ward with robotic mannequins and the latest equipment.
The facility has recently opened to train health and social care students and is funded by the Department for Education’s T Level Capital Fund and the college.
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