Easton College: An invitation to employers in the agricultural sector to help shape the future of land-based training
Following a review by the Further Education Commissioner, it was recently announced that his recommendation is for Easton and Otley College to de-merge - with the Easton campus to become part of City College Norwich and the Otley campus to become part of Suffolk New College.
I recognise that this is a big change, and not the outcome everyone was hoping for, but it is nonetheless an important moment for land-based training in our region.
Firstly, allow me to reiterate two important things about these proposals: (1) Land-based training will continue to be at the very centre of Easton College’s offer. (2) As UEA is our Higher Education partner, the opportunities for Easton College to benefit from the university’s teaching, research and development expertise, will remain strong.
Putting employers at the centre
City College Norwich has a long history – more than a Century and a quarter - of responding to the changing skills and training needs of Norfolk’s employers and students. Working closely with our Higher Education partner UEA, we are ready to do the same for the land-based sector.
Our college works across a huge breadth of employment sectors, from childcare to construction, and at all levels (from entry to degree level and postgraduate qualifications). The one common thread throughout this highly varied provision is that the skills needed by employers are at the centre of what we do – shaping not just what we teach, but how, when and where we teach, and the experiences of work we build into our students’ learning.
Getting this training right for the current and future skills needed by your business is not something we can do in isolation. Our approach to land-based training, as with all our other vocational areas, is based on talking to, and then working in partnership with, employers.
Tell us what you need
I therefore want to invite you to work with us in shaping the future of Easton College, and to tell us exactly what you as an employer need from the college – in both the immediate and longer term.
If you are attending this year’s Royal Norfolk Show, please come along to our drop-in event for agricultural employers. The drop-in takes which place on Wednesday 26th June, 4.00pm - 8.00pm, in the Debut Restaurant marquee, which is located next to the Grand Ring. You can visit at anytime between 4.00pm and 8.00pm and do not need to book.
If you are unable to make this event, then please do get in touch and start a conversation about how we can work together to secure a bright and ambitious future for land-based education in the region. If you are on twitter, you can tweet or Direct Message me at @CorrienneP.
I look forward to meeting you, to hearing your priorities and concerns, and working together to shape a thriving and successful college that can sustainably deliver the skills needed by the sector, now and in the future.
Principal, City College Norwich