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GETTING ‘ROUTES READY’: WORKING WITH LOCAL AREAS AND PROVIDERS

4 July 2017 Jenifer Burden

Following the publication of the Sainsbury Review, Gatsby is collaborating with Sheffield City Region (SCR) and Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) - and FE providers in these areas - in their work to become ‘routes ready’. Experience developed in these local areas will be shared through various events over the next two years.

Recently, senior leaders from colleges across Greater Manchester (GM) met to discuss their project priorities. Nicola McLeod, Principal Skills Manager at GMCA, outlined several focus areas:

  • Using LMI data to identify those technical education pathways that align with GM’s growth priorities.
  • Producing tools to help colleges draw together data on existing staffing expertise and facilities, and establishing teacher networks to facilitate professional development opportunities.
  • Setting out with employers how they can support technical education across GM, for example, curriculum co-delivery, offering opportunities for work placements.
  • Informing GM schools’ careers education, information, advice, and guidance (CEIAG) strategy to help young people understand the technical education routes and pathways available to them.

Similar activity is underway in Sheffield City Region (SCR), where the project is led by Krysia Wooffinden, Senior Programme Manager for the Combined Authority and LEP: “SCR works with employers and FE partners to make sure that the local economy has the skills it needs. Routes reform provides a framework for aligning our technical education pathways with the labour market to help us achieve this priority. We are generating a sound evidence base for all stakeholders to make informed decisions and support individuals onto skilled employment. Working with FE institutions across SCR, this project will also facilitate professional development for teachers, and build on existing employer engagement in planning and delivering technical education.”

Explaining the importance of the project, Nicola McLeod said: “We are delighted and excited that Gatsby has offered Greater Manchester the opportunity to be involved in this project. The GMCA is committed to supporting Technical Education reforms and this project allows us to work side by side with our colleges, taking their guidance and expertise at both a strategic and operational level to create a route model that works for everyone. Working together, with the support from Gatsby, will allow us to achieve the high quality and long-lasting changes we need to give our young people clear route ways to achieving the critical skills employers need.”

Gatsby is building its work with local areas to support implementation of the Sainsbury reforms. If you are interested in learning more, please get in touch technicial.education@gatsby.org.uk