From education to employment


Lord Baker, Founder, Career Colleges Trust

Lord Baker has launched a brand new Construction & Engineering Career College at Havering College.

At a special event to mark the opening, the former Education Secretary and Founder of the Career Colleges Trust, was joined by students and employers.

Havering College has been awarded Career College status for Construction & Engineering by the Career Colleges Trust after receiving the backing of East London’s biggest employers.

The Trust works alongside FE colleges and businesses to shape employer-led curriculums, preparing students for the world of work.

Speaking at the launch, Asfa Sohail, Vice Principal at Havering College, said: “As a Career College, we will provide our learners with established, recognised and meaningful qualifications. With our strong focus on employer engagement, we are able to nurture a workforce that employers are really looking for. The demand for skilled young people in the construction and engineering sectors has never been higher.

“Alongside technical ability, we place great emphasis on addressing the UK’s current failings in basic literacy and numeracy skills, which are negatively impacting the construction and engineering industries nationwide.”   

89% of Havering College students go on to secure employment or work towards the next level of qualification, making it a destination of choice for learners.

In addition to its Career College status, full planning permission has been granted for Havering’s Construction, Infrastructure, Skills & Innovation Centre (CISIC). The £11m facility will offer skilled jobs to Havering’s aspiring learners, cementing it as a centre of excellence for construction and engineering.

Lord Baker said: “Being part of the Career Colleges network will make a huge difference to students at CISIC, who will be equipped with real world skills – a benefit to them and UK construction.”

Lord Baker was joined at the launch by learners who will form the first cohort at CISIC, and several of the employers backing the new development. Grant Findlay, from the construction and civil engineering company Sir Robert McAlpine, said: “There are skills needed within construction and engineering that we are currently lacking, such as VR, 3D printing, automation and robotics. We want the next generation to come into the industry and teach us these skills.”

John Bryson, from residential development firm L&Q, said: “Our organisation needs to build hundreds of thousands of homes in the next decade, and to achieve this we need to employ thousands of skilled individuals. Better engagement with employers is something the UK education system is in need of, and it’s something that Havering College is excellent at.”

Havering College provides further and higher education to around 8,500 students and has around 467 full time equivalent staff. Alongside its status as a Career College, CISIC is predicted to deliver a contribution of over £30m to the local economy over the next ten years.

Career Colleges were set up by the Career Colleges Trust in 2013 with a view to bridging the skills gap in key industries.  In order to become a Career College, colleges need to demonstrate a strong pathway for employer-led education, with a range of relevant qualifications that provide a clear route to work.

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