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WCG CEO welcomes latest skills policy plans

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A leading Midlands college group CEO has welcomed the latest skills policy plans and says it is vital colleges work closely with industry to be able to deliver the Government’s vision.

Angela Joyce heads up WCG (formerly Warwickshire College Group) which includes colleges across Warwickshire and Worcestershire.

Queen Elizabeth II officially opened parliament and, in her speech, outlined plans to introduce new legislation through the Skills and Post-16 Bill to support the Government’s Lifetime Skills Guarantee.

The bill will put reform promised in the FE White Paper into law, including flexible loans for adults to access higher-level training at college or university level at any point in their lives.

It will also give employers a statutory role in planning publicly-funded training programmes with education providers, through a ‘Skills Accelerator’ programme.

The Skills Accelerator programme will build stronger partnerships between employers and their local Further Education colleges, and ensure that courses meet local sector needs.

The new bill emphasises the Government’s vision to sharpen skillsets across the nation, from young people to adults, and ensure that employers have the skilled individuals they need to recover following the pandemic.

Angela Joyce, CEO of WCG, said:

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“We welcome the Government’s recognition of the importance of technical skills for the UK’s economy and its commitment to the role of education in levelling up society.

“The reaffirmation of the Lifetime Skills Guarantee is also welcome as it will provide opportunity for a lifetime commitment to education and training through a more flexible funding system for adults, noting the need for us all to upskill, and even retrain, to ensure the country’s economic growth and development.

“We feel positive and well placed to respond to the anticipated Skills and Post-16 Bill at our colleges. We have strong partnerships across the Midlands, including with the Chambers of Commerce, and are already working to support key industry sectors, particularly construction, advanced manufacturing and digital.

“Strengthening partnerships with key industry sectors and organisations will be essential for Further Education colleges to help fulfil the Government’s skills vision.

“Our recent announcements regarding the new T Levels delivery in our colleges and our Bachelor Degree Awarding Powers highlight our commitment to the higher technical skills agenda being prioritised by the Government.

“We feel well placed to embrace the changes to the post-16 skills system and see our colleges play a key role part in the post Covid-19 economic recovery in Warwickshire, Worcestershire and the wider Midlands region.”

WCG college’s include Royal Leamington Spa, Rugby, Warwick Trident, Moreton Morrell, Pershore, Evesham and Malvern Hills.

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