West Yorkshire Combined Authority has announced a landmark partnership with West Yorkshire colleges setting out a joint plan to align college training provision with the needs of the Leeds City Region economy, including the £56 million per annum Adult Education Budget.

Developed in partnership between the Combined Authority and each of the seven the colleges, the agreements publicly outline how each college will contribute to the Leeds City Region Employment and Skills Plan Skilled People, Better Jobs 2016-2020 and subsequently the needs of the City Region economy.

Shared Aspirations for the City Region

The targets set for each college aim to address the acute skills shortages faced by the City Region’s key sectors: manufacturing and engineering, health and care, infrastructure and digital. The agreements mean the colleges will increase levels of apprenticeships starts, pledging to also increase higher and degree apprenticeship provision.

John Rees, Principal and Chief Executive of Calderdale College comments:

“This agreement with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority marks the start of exciting times for Calderdale College, it sets out our development plans for the next three years, including how we will contribute to successful delivery of the Leeds City Region employment and skills plan.

By working closely with the Combined Authority we will ensure that the training and qualifications we offer address skills shortages and are tailored to the demands of local employers.” 

Ian Billyard, Principal of Leeds College of Building and Chair of West Yorkshire Consortium of Colleges said: “Our Delivery Agreement with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority is another exciting milestone for Leeds College of Building.

“As the only specialist construction college in the country, the positive destination and skills of our students are crucial to the future delivery of the £13bn in major infrastructure schemes currently in the pipeline in Leeds City Region. Working together with the Combined Authority we have identified how we will improve our links with employers, grow our apprenticeship offer and develop our pathways to higher level learning to address the skills shortages in our sector and bring affordable, high-quality education to the young people of the North.

“We look forward to working with the Combined Authority to achieve our shared aspirations for the City Region.”

Julie Colley, Deputy CEO of Avalon Group and member of the Leeds City Region Employment and Skills Panel said: “A steady pipeline of talent for health and care is crucial to the economic future and wellbeing of the country.

“The health and care sector faces a number of challenges in the near future; our population is ageing, our National Health Service (NHS) is under pressure and we do not yet fully understand the impact of Brexit in a sector reliant on migrant workers. The research undertaken by the Combined Authority has recognised this sector, along with manufacturing & engineering, infrastructure and digital, as one with access to a range of diverse and rewarding careers and I am greatly encouraged to see these challenges addressed through this brilliant partnership between colleges and authority."

Photo taken at the Halifax Town Hall with Robin Tuddenham, Chief Executive of Calderdale Council and John Rees, Chief Executive and Principal of Calderdale College. 

The delivery agreements with Calderdale, Kirklees, Leeds, Shipley and Wakefield Colleges and Leeds College of Building can be found on the LEP website. 

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