Weston College growth 'demonstrates commitment to community'

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By YouPR | Thursday, November 28, 2013, 15:15

A YEAR of huge growth and investment at Weston College underlines its commitment to its learners and the wider community, a business meeting heard this week.

The College's annual report for 2012/13 was launched at a breakfast for staff, councillors and representatives of local and national businesses at the College's Knightstone Campus, Weston-super-Mare, on Thursday (November 28).

Dr Paul Phillips, Weston College Principal and Chief Executive, said the past academic year had been challenging and exciting, with growth right across the curriculum.

He pointed to the securing of the education delivery contract for all the prisons in the South West (OLASS 4), the Government granting of permission for the North Somerset Enterprise and Technology College (NSETC), the major building works investment at the South West Skills Campus (SWSC) on Locking Road and the launch of the Weston Bay facility for students on the autism spectrum as just some of this year's most outstanding achievements.

Other successes include a 12 per cent increase in the numbers of 16-18-year-olds attending College (now at 3,800) and an £8.6 million investment in the adult curriculum.

Dr Phillips said the College's ambition to achieve university status were strong, with the hope that Weston College may soon be able to change its name to 'Weston College of Further and Higher Education'. This, he said, "would be a step on the road to achieving our ambitions."

He said: "Everything we do is designed to create impact for our learners and to contribute to the entrepreneurial focus of our organisation.

"A Weston College learner can expect to achieve beyond expectation and make a major contribution to working life, business and industry."

Guest speakers at the event included Mike Jackson, North Somerset Council's new Chief Executive, and Gemma Hughes, director of Weston-based developers Dowlas UK.

Mr Jackson said: "It is very apparent what a key partner the College is to North Somerset Council, and also a very big part of North Somerset's future. My experience is that successful local economies are characterised by shared leadership between councils, the business community and representatives from FE and HE, and in this we have a strong platform for moving forward in this area."

The event was used to highlight the achievements of the first year of the OLASS 4 contact, including almost 19,000 enrolments on employability-linked qualifications and the delivery of 58 such qualifications.

Sponsors of the business breakfast included The Royal Hotel, Weston-super-Mare; St Nicks Marketing Agency, Lloyds Bank and HPS Bristol.

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