The changing needs of the business community in Hampshire are to be catered for with the announcement that Eastleigh College has become the latest college to be granted “Action for Business” status from the Learning and Skills Council (LSC).
“Action for Business”, an accreditation standard from the LSC for colleges in the South of England, is designed to rigorously examine a colleges” ability to meet the workforce development needs of employers. Following a thorough assessment process which explored all aspects of Eastleigh’s links with business, including interviews with over 45 of its customers, the LSC’s decision to award centred on the colleges” industry experience, flexibility of delivery and its genuine commitment to provide what the business community requires.
Eastleigh College, currently a provider of more than 1,500 training programmes covering a broad range of disciplines, will now be able to offer tailored courses that can begin to close the skills gap that many businesses face. Chief Executive of Eastleigh College Tony Lau-Walker said: “It is wonderful to be officially recognised for the high quality training that we provide to the business community, which has been central to the College’s ethos for over a decade.”
The award adds to Eastleigh’s existing “Beacon” status awarded by the Department for Education and Skills (DfES) making it the first college in the South East region to hold both standards. He continued: “This accreditation is a tribute to our staff, who hold a wealth of industry experience and are dedicated to providing a first class service.”
The LSC, responsible for funding, planning education and training for over 16-year-olds in England has worked alongside the Regional Development Agency, the further education college sector and business links in the South East for the last two years to develop the standard.
Hilary Chadwick, Executive Director of the LSC, Hampshire & Isle of Wight commented: “This is great news for businesses in Hampshire. Staff at Eastleigh College have worked tirelessly to change the way they work to put employers” needs at the heart of the College, working with businesses to improve workforce skills. The College has an excellent understanding of the needs of local companies and make sure they are satisfied with the high quality training provided.”
Speaking on a visit to the college, Chris Huhne, Member of Parliament for Eastleigh, offered his congratulations, saying: “This is a great feather in the cap for Eastleigh as no other college has both Beacon status and Action for Business status. It is testimony to the hard work that the College does to meet local business needs for up-to-date and competitive skills.”
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