November 2021 Principal’s Column

Graham Guest signs the Shropshire Chamber mental health charter

It’s a changing world right now, and after what we’ve all been through over the past 18 months, many people are re-evaluating their priorities in life.

Further education providers have to rise to this challenge, adapting and evolving in what we believe are exciting and fast-moving times.

Many people who may have previously thought they were in a ‘job for life’ before the pandemic are now looking to change career, either through choice or necessity.

And that means they could be potentially returning to study for the first time in many years.

Against this backdrop, it’s no surprise that Telford College has seen a rise in interest for our growing range of adult education courses – qualifications such as AAT accountancy, human resources, supporting teaching and learning in schools, and more.

Distance learning programmes, and our Access to Higher Education programme which is perfect for looking to go on to study a degree or university-level course without any formal qualifications, are also helping to meet a growing need, alongside apprenticeships at all levels.

But amidst all of this change, some things remain the same, including the need to equip our workforce with a solid level of literacy and numeracy skills.

We were delighted to hear Chancellor Rishi Sunak recognising the vital role to be played by further education when he delivered his autumn Budget, and in particular the cash set aside to improve maths skills.

Basic maths and English are the foundation for every career, so any initiatives which help us to deliver this can only be good news.

The Government clearly wants to see further education more closely aligned with the needs of employers, playing a pivotal role in the local economy.

Here at Telford College, we’re already doing this. Not only have we aligned our curriculum to the needs of local employers, we’ve also set up a series of specialist skills hubs to encourage closer partnership working – with more on the way.

There is no such thing as a ‘typical’ student these days, so it’s important not to feel nervous at the thought of potentially stepping back into the world of education.

Remember, if you can’t or don’t want to physically attend college, that’s not a problem, because we now have more than 20 different distance learning courses which give you the flexibility to study when and where you want – with the added bonus of no course fees.

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