A new, employment-focused college of further education for Scarborough

Yorkshire Coast College, part of the Grimsby Institute Group, has outlined its vision for the future of further education, skills and professional training in Scarborough.

The group’s intention is to build a new, employment-focused college of further education in Scarborough town centre, which better understands and meets the needs of learners and employers, and will make an effective contribution to the economic regeneration of the region.

The Group’s vision for a new college has been outlined in a new document ‘Skills for Scarborough and the Opportunity Coast’, which will be published ahead of an event for key stakeholders, which will be held at Yorkshire Coast College, in September. Interested stakeholders can apply for a copy and register their interest in the event by emailing: marketing@grimsby.ac.uk

It is estimated that the project will be in the region of £23m, with a substantial capital grant applied for to the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP). The remaining funds will be provided by the Grimsby Institute Group and by the sale, for redevelopment, of Yorkshire Coast College’s Lady Edith’s Drive and Westwood campuses.

Clare Wareing, Principal of Yorkshire Coast College, explains:  “We have applied for funding to the LEP to build a new, town centre campus, so that we can transform our learning programmes and further improve student experience. We want to make our curriculum responsive to the needs of local learners, employers and the wider economy, and inspire our colleagues to provide ever better education, training and support. Our aim is to put a relentless focus on quality so that we deliver an excellent outcome for every learner, be that further study, an apprenticeship, job, promotion or place at university. Providing our learners with the skills and experience that local employers actually need, both now and in the future, will be the key to our success.”

Economic forecasts suggest that over 1170 new jobs will be created in Scarborough by 2022. However the development, across sectors, will not be even. For example, the health and social care sector is predicted to generate 900 new jobs alone. In addition, large scale, inward investment projects such as York Potash, the offshore wind sector, Middle Deepdale and developments around GCHQ, represent a step change in employment opportunities for our region’s learners.

Plans for the new college therefore include dedicated facilities for the teaching of: construction, engineering, catering and hospitality, arts and media, business, enterprise and ICT, leisure and tourism, health and social care, public services, sport, child care, accounting, teacher training, foundation learning, and hair and beauty. There will also be a firm emphasis on the development of flexible, higher level skills, which have been identified as a key requirement for the wider economy going forwards.

Clare Wareing continues:  “We will therefore also invest in more and even better high-quality equipment, dedicated facilities and tailored training to support young people aiming for their first jobs in these new and expanding sectors, as well as offer opportunities for older people to retrain. We will work collaboratively with employers and other providers, to ensure that people in Scarborough and the wider region are able to benefit from these transformational changes.”

The Group’s plans are also designed to make a positive contribution to the achievement of the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Enterprise Partnership’s strategic plan to: create 20,000 new jobs, deliver £3billion growth, connect every student to business and double house building.

Clare Wareing adds:  “Ours is an ambitious vision and we are aware that we can’t do it alone. That’s why we are working hard to explain our thinking to key partners and stakeholders, to seek their feedback and incorporate their good ideas into our detailed plans. We are pleased to say that our feeder schools support our vision, and we are working alongside colleagues at the UTC, Coventry University and Teeside University to streamline provision, and create coherent progression opportunities between our institutions.

“Looking ahead, our intention is to recruit a new, independent board of Governors, drawn from a wide cross section of the local community. As a minimum, it will include representatives from the region’s business, secondary education and community sectors, as well as the Scarborough Borough Council. Board members will use their professional expertise and understanding of local issues to ensure that our new employment-focused college effectively supports the social and economic regeneration of Scarborough and the wider region.”