Edge has always recognised the value and contribution of the Further Education sector in providing quality technical education and opportunities in vocational and professional careers. For the third year running, Edge sponsored the TES FE Award for Employer Engagement and we were delighted to present it to Stephenson College.
Edge is a huge advocate of the benefit of links at all educational levels with employers and Stephenson College in Leicestershire sets a benchmark in this area.
As part of the development of its apprenticeships programmes the college has developed a strong partnership with the Volvo Group. It enables lecturers to spend time in industry to keep their knowledge up-to-date and Volvo employees to work closely with the college, ensuring students are trained in the latest technology.
The scheme has won interest from other partners, notably Renault who have already seen accelerated learning in their apprentices since they developed a similar programme with the College. Students clearly benefit from the workplace learning opportunities.
In 2017, car production rose by 7.3% with the majority of cars produced being for export. The rise of electric vehicles will require different engineering skills. The need for skilled engineers has never been higher and Edge applauds South Devon College for helping young people make the most of the career opportunities.
Of course, the TES FE Awards ceremony is a chance to recognise the excellent work of everyone who works in Further Education. The sector has often been the Cinderella of education, but recognition through events like this, reinforces the message that FE has a critical role in equipping young people with 21st century skills and offering opportunity to all, regardless of status or background.