WY colleges unite to address skills priorities

Colleges in West Yorkshire have signed a Joint Venture Agreement that unites the region’s further education sector.

The Agreement, signed at Kirklees College (pictured), symbolises the commitment from FE Colleges in West Yorkshire to work together to fulfil the region’s skills priorities and comes fully supported by the LEP and other key strategic partners.

The college partnership includes Bradford College, Calderdale College, Kirklees College, Leeds College of Building, Leeds City College, Shipley and Wakefield College who, together, formed West Yorkshire Consortium of Colleges (WYCC) in 2002.   Since then, over £150m funding has been secured for training initiatives delivered across the region and beyond.

Andy Welsh, Chief Executive Officer of Bradford College Group, said:  “At Bradford College we have a strong track record of working with others in education and business and value collaboration with others. This Joint Venture builds on the collaborative work already carried out with other colleges and will allows us collectively to do more than we can do individually. It will help us secure much needed funding to bring to Bradford to improve the skills of the local workforce and build even more strength into Bradford District as a thriving labour market.”

Ian Billyard, Chair of WYCC and Principal of Leeds College of Building explains “Further Education is a vital contributor to economic activity.  The Joint Venture now elevates WYCC’s capabilities even further in terms of collaborative performance by being best placed to address the region’s skills priorities and provide the sustainable, long-term solutions needed.”

Louise Tearle, Partnership Director for West Yorkshire Consortium of Colleges added “The Agreement powerfully demonstrates the next phase of partnership working for the Consortium.   It will enhance the already extensive contribution made to assisting businesses and the positive impact on individuals and skill levels across the region.”

The Consortium are looking forward to working with partners and stakeholders across Leeds City Region on future opportunities that raise the bar on skills and support the region.   For more information visit www.westyorkshirecolleges.co.uk