The Education and Training Foundation (ETF) is showing its support for the national Colleges Week campaign run by the Association of Colleges (AoC) and supported by a number of high profile organisations.
The campaign is running from Monday 15 – Friday 19 October and is an opportunity to highlight the brilliant work in colleges as well as the dedicated teachers and trainers across the country. It is also a way of drawing attention to the challenges the institutions are facing – while bringing together colleges, learners and unions.
The ETF is encouraging all Further Education (FE) colleges to get behind the campaign, sign up as a supporter, while highlighting their successes and celebrating why they love working in their organisation.
As stated on the Colleges Week website: “Colleges and college staff transform lives – they help people make the most of their talents and ambitions and drive social mobility; they help businesses improve productivity and drive economic growth; they are rooted in and committed to their communities and drive tolerance and well-being. They are an essential part of England’s education system – educating and training 2.2 million people every year.”
David Russell, Chief Executive of the Education and Training Foundation, said: "The ETF this week is celebrating the fantastic workforce development that takes place in the 266 colleges and the vital role they play in educating and upskilling the nation. Colleges offer richly rewarding careers for teachers, trainers and leaders. They are power-houses of social mobility and economic productivity. They change lives.
“The FE sector is wider than colleges. It also includes independent training providers, adult education institutions, and professionals in a range of settings including prisons. But this week is all about celebrating colleges. Their dedicated staff are inspiring learners every day and equipping them with the knowledge and skills required by employers so that they have the best chance to be successful in their future careers. Around 17,000 professionals are also now part of the Society for Education and Training, the leading professional association in FE, bringing further benefits to their careers and their learners."
Darren Hankey, Principal of the Hartlepool College of Further Education, said: “Colleges are an essential part of England’s education system, educating and training 2.2 million people every year, but I feel there is still a real lack of awareness when it comes to working in the world of FE and how colleges help people make the most of their talents.
“The beauty of being a practitioner in a FE college is that you get the opportunity to be a dual professional. You could have started out your career by honing your skills as a bricklayer, plasterer, engineer or accountant, but this is a way of keeping that profession alive; many of our lecturers do just that, but they also develop their identity as a teacher as well.”
Find out more about Colleges Week and how you can get involved, and share your support on Twitter using the hashtag #LoveOurColleges.