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Business leaders join college employment and skills forum

Business leaders join college employment and skills forum  
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More than 60 organisations joined Northumberland College at a meeting of its Employment and Skills Forum last week. The event took place at the college’s Kirkley Hall campus near Ponteland.

The college's Employment and Skills Forum was launched last October as part of the College's Strategic Partnership Strategy and follows the government's Business Innovation and Skills department decision for the North East to become one of three regional pilots with funding for skills allocated to the Local Enterprise Partnership with the aim of fostering greater relations between private and public sector employers and education and training providers.

Since its launch, the initiative has gone from strength to strength with seven advisory groups now established for priority industry sectors that include groups for construction, engineering, land-based, IT and business, leisure, creative and life sciences.

Professor Roy Sandbach, guest speaker and 2013/14 David Goldman visiting Professor of Innovation and Enterprise at Newcastle University, spoke on innovating for growth and said: "Innovation requires us to match what's needed, with what's possible. To do this we need to establish brilliant, dynamic networks, so it's great to see the Employment and Skills Forum network going from strength to strength."

The forum welcomes members from business and community organisations who may join its specialist advisory groups.

This latest event was chaired by Jacqui Henderson - Chair of Governors at the college and included speeches from Peter McIntyre, Managing Director of Arch - the Northumberland development company - who focussed on regeneration and the development of strategic enterprise zones to support businesses and communities across Northumberland. Kate Dawson, Managing Director of Ashington based, The All-In-One Company, gave an inspirational outline of her journey towards a successful enterprise that has a turnover of more than £1m and customers in more than 150 countries worldwide.
 
Jacqui Henderson, Chair of Governors at the college, said: "The Forum aims to create even stronger partnerships for the college and businesses in the region and facilitate a strong sense of innovation and enterprise by supporting them through a range of skills and business requirements especially in Apprenticeships and workforce development."

Stuart Cutforth, Principal and Chief Executive at Northumberland College, said: "We want our students to succeed and develop in sustained employment, so the forum aims to benefit our students and the local economy by matching training provision with local skills needs."

Northumberland College is the largest training provider in Northumberland, offers over 40 flexible Apprenticeship frameworks and works with over 700 businesses across the North East.

Anyone wishing to find out more about the Northumberland College Employment and Skills Forum or who would like to become a member should visit www.northumberland.ac.uk