Sunderland College has an involved and strategic approach to teacher recruitment and retention. When hiring it is a priority that lecturers are specialists in their field and are able to focus on teaching one subject as opposed to multiple. In order to overcome the challenges associated with hiring lecturers from industry, such as salary reduction, Sunderland College have invested resources into teacher training, gradually transitioning lecturers into their role with a reduced timetable, making time for development and providing them with the freedom and autonomy to develop their own teaching style and tailor the curriculum, with a focus on training the next generation of professionals.
Further to this, by implementing the Aspire Leadership Program, which provides opportunities for leadership capacity building they have attracted professionals actively looking for opportunities to develop their career in another sector. The programme not only seeks to ensure there is a path to leadership and senior leadership but also allows for lecturers and aspiring leaders to be involved in decisions about curriculum changes and investment in priority areas and be prepared for progression opportunities in or outside the college. Upon recruitment, the retention rate at Sunderland College has been high and can be attributed in part to the investment placed on professional development and the teaching supported by progress monitoring given to each student.