AoC partnered with ITN Productions to showcase the myriad of vocational college courses on offer and highlights how colleges are providing the essential foundations for narrowing the national skills gap and overcoming regional disparities, ensuring the UK economy survives and thrives.
With 251 colleges in England educating and training 2.2 million young people and adults, further education is playing a pivotal role in developing career opportunities, enhancing skills, creating future leaders, transforming lives and serving businesses.
Colleges are often one of the largest employers in their local area, employing 120,000 full-time equivalent people. All colleges work with local employers to deliver apprenticeships, work experience, work placements and tailored training programmes. They have an average of 600 employer contacts within their communities.
In recent years, colleges have diversified their commercial offer and often hire out their facilities. Customers include community-based church groups, local voluntary organisations offering regular enrichment activities and one-off events.
College students are involved in their communities too. They contribute the skills they have learnt at college to the local, regional and national community. They also participate in youth social action projects and volunteer, organise events and raise money for both national and local charities, using the skills they have learnt at college.