23 June 2016

Following a review of further education provision in the Sheffield City Region to meet the Government’s aims of creating resilient and efficient further education provision, it has been announced that Chesterfield College will be forming key collaborations to improve the way learners and employers can access apprenticeships and further education.

The report produced at the end of the review recommends that over the next 12 months Chesterfield College forms an apprenticeship company with other colleges in the region including Barnsley College, Dearne Valley College, Sheffield College and the RNN Group (comprising Rotherham College and North Nottinghamshire College).

The apprenticeship company will make it easier for learners and employers to find and access apprenticeships as well as reduce the costs of developing and marketing the apprenticeship offer for individual colleges.

The report also highlights that Chesterfield College is working on a new strategic partnership with a college outside the Sheffield City Region. Chesterfield College and Derby College are exploring opportunities for working in partnership to improve further education services for students, employers and local communities.

The aim of both colleges is to provide robust and locally responsive further education provision that will help to develop a highly skilled workforce for the region and improve employment prospects for young people and adults.  Options are being explored that will strengthen the work of both colleges for the benefit of their communities.

Stuart Cutforth, Principal at Chesterfield College said:

“We are looking forward to working with colleges in the Sheffield City Region to grow apprenticeships and create a robust system that makes it easier for everyone to use apprenticeships to get the skills they need.

“Our plans to work with Derby College were born because both colleges share the same ethos, drive and quality approach to ensure we are developing a skilled workforce so it makes sense to make the most of our strengths and geographical location by working together.

“Plans are in the early stages but the vision is to share our expertise to improve our offer to students and employers. Any partnership would look to improve and grow services that meet the priorities of our area. I look forward to working with the team at Derby College to develop the strategies.”

Mandie Stravino, Chief Executive at Derby College added:

“I am confident that much can be achieved through working together.  Our focus will always be on ensuring we play our part in positively impacting on the prosperity of the communities we serve.

Details of the strategic partnership are currently being developed and further details will be announced following the next area review which includes colleges in the Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire region planned to start in November.”

The announcements come as Chesterfield College has participated in the Sheffield City Region Area Based Review. Area Based Reviews have been introduced by the Government with the purpose of assessing the economic and educational needs of the area and the implications for post-16 education and training provision. The Government’s aim is to achieve a transition towards ‘fewer, often larger, more resilient and efficient providers’ and more effective collaboration across institution types.

Chesterfield College is a highly successful and vibrant college based in North Derbyshire with excellent pass rates and high student success levels.