News | 11.Oct.2023

South Yorkshire Colleges Partnership Celebrates Colleges Week 2023

South Yorkshire education providers are backing a national campaign celebrating the positive impact that colleges have on their local communities.

Colleges Week 2023 runs for two weeks this year from 9th to 20th October.

Led by the Association of Colleges (AoC), the campaign shines a light on colleges’ vital role in boosting the economy, strengthening communities and transforming lives.

Colleges educate and train 1.6 million people in England. Nationally, they have an average of 600 employer contacts within their communities, according to the AoC.

Over the next two weeks, members of the South Yorkshire Colleges Partnership are running a range of activities in support of the campaign.

These include inviting civic leaders such as politicians, council and education chiefs, mayors and employers on campus to see first-hand the benefits that colleges bring to their communities.

College leaders have also been invited to attend an AoC Parliamentary reception in London on 18th October.

The South Yorkshire Colleges Partnership aims to transform lives through learning, education and skills.

The partnership, which formed in 2018, comprises the following regional providers in South Yorkshire and North East Derbyshire:

  • Barnsley College
  • Communication Specialist College Doncaster
  • DN Colleges Group
  • Northern College
  • RNN Group
  • The Chesterfield College Group
  • The Sheffield College
  • University of Sheffield AMRC Training Centre

Jason Austin, Chair of South Yorkshire Colleges Partnership and Chief Executive Officer and Principal of RNN Group, said: “Collectively, we support a diverse range of young people and adults.

“Colleges have a significant positive impact on their local communities reducing skills gaps and contributing to social mobility.

“Together, we want to celebrate the fantastic work that all of our colleges do, which creates opportunities and transforms lives across our region.”

A wide range of student and stakeholder activities are taking place at colleges across the region, for example:

  • Barnsley College will highlight its commitment to developing green skills. This will include showcasing the opportunities students have to work on electric and hybrid cars at the college’s brand new Automotive Technologies Centre. The college will also promote its appetite for sustainable action within the catering and hospitality department showing students how to make recipes using locally-grown produce and basic food items to minimise food waste.
  • Northern College is holding an event involving local and regional dignitaries to launch its new strategy and plans for enhancing its provision for adult learners. The college is the only residential college for adults in the north of England. Some of its students will share their transformational educational journey with guests attending the event.
  • RNN Group – comprising Rotherham College, North Notts College and Dearne Valley College – is promoting learners talking about their courses and colleges, reflecting the daily Colleges Week campaign theme along with celebrating alumni, mini interviews, charity events, trips and activities and personal development. Student stories will be highlighted including the launch of a new sustainability logo designed by a student to coincide with the green skills theme and the sustainability work that the Group is doing inside and outside the classroom. The Group is also hosting careers, employer and partner events throughout the weeks.
  • The Chesterfield College Group’s performing arts students will be working with music production students to record a song to celebrate the week. Digital students are creating a virtual reality tour of the campus to showcase their skills. The college is holding a higher education fair with more than 20 universities showcasing progression routes and a higher education graduation is taking place at the Winding Wheel Theatre.
  • The Sheffield College is hosting local dignitaries who will tour the facilities, see skills demonstrations and try their hand at skills challenges. The college will showcase its plans for a green curriculum as it seeks to transform its Olive Grove Campus into an Advanced Technology Centre for the city. Other curriculum areas involved in Colleges Week include catering and hospitality, games design, health and social care and media make-up.
  • Meanwhile, the University of Sheffield AMRC Training Centre recently supported National Manufacturing Day in partnership with Make UK. The AMRC’s flagship Factory 2050 facility welcomed 150 school pupils and members of the public to celebrate the engineering, innovation and manufacturing sectors. Engineers and apprentices showcased augmented reality, robotics and digital, and spoke about their work.

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