Telford Journal Column – Graham Guest – February 2022

Graham Guest signs the Shropshire Chamber mental health charter

The value and variety of apprenticeships have been firmly in the spotlight this month, thanks to the work being done during National Apprenticeships Week.

It’s always a great opportunity to remind people of the incredible variety of apprenticeships which are available with some brilliant local companies.

Graham Guest signs the Shropshire Chamber mental health charter
Telford College principal and CEO Graham Guest signs Shropshire Chamber of Commerce’s mental health charter

We’ve streamed fascinating debates on social media, attended several events, and spotlighted some of the star apprentices we are currently working with in the NHS, some of Shropshire’s biggest engineering, manufacturing, construction and automotive companies, and much more.

Our employer engagement team currently has links with around 700 employers, and engages with 1,000 apprentices across nearly 40 different trades. And that’s not just at entry-level; we have apprenticeships right the way up to degree-level.

If you’re curious to find out more about the skills-boosting opportunities here on the doorstep, we will be holding our next open event on the morning of Saturday March 19, with a particular focus on adult education.

It’s a chance to explore the university-standard facilities at our Haybridge campus in an informal atmosphere, and meet some of the staff and students. You can find out more about it on our website, telfordcollege.ac.uk.

Keeping abreast of the needs of the local business community is absolutely vital for us here at Telford College. We want to ensure we are delivering the skills that companies need, so the next generation of entrepreneurs don’t need to leave the county to follow their dreams.

One of the ways we have been strengthening our links over the past few years is by launching a series of ‘employer hubs’, giving companies a chance to work closely with us to help us shape our curriculum.

We already have successful hubs in the areas of health and engineering, and next month we will be launching a new digital hub too.

Some big-name Telford businesses are already on board, including Capgemini, Fujitsu, Enreach, Bespoke Computing, Purple Frog Systems, Wrekin Housing Group, and Global Minds.

It’s the perfect time for us to be focusing on technology-led careers, for a number of reasons.

Not only because of the wealth of well-paid job opportunities in the sector, but because we will soon be opening a brand new Maths & Digital Education and Enterprise Hub in the heart of Telford Town Centre, as part of the ‘Station Quarter’ development. Exciting times.

Graham Guest, Principal and CEO of Telford College

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