Centre aimed at boosting employability of students

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A NEW industrial centre of excellence has been set up to allow school and college students to develop skills to make them more employable.

The centre will involve Titus Salt School in Baildon, Shipley College, Bradford Council and a group of employers from the Bradford district who will play a key role in delivering lessons.

Beaumont Robinson, Incommunities housing, Provident Financial and Yorkshire Water have all signed up to help deliver programmes through the centre.

It will focus on finance and business skills for 16- to 18-year-olds from next year but the centre will also have an input for pupils at school.

Shipley College’s Principal, Nav Chohan, urged other businesses in the region to get involved.

He said: “One thing that people say is missing from our education system is giving pupils the skills they need to be more employable. That is down to a lack of experience of the workplace. The centre will give them the chance to improve on areas like their team building and communication skills.”

He added: “It is a real coup for Shipley College to be the home of the district’s first Centre of Excellence. I’ve been so impressed by the commitment of these companies and their ambition to develop Bradford’s young people. Students can look forward to an education based on real business experience.

“The Industrial Centre of Excellence provides a great model for how education providers can work in partnership with industry to offer students practical business skills that will make a real difference to their life chances.”

Mr Chohan said the businesses would work with Titus Salt School and the college to see how B-Tec national diplomas could be customised to meet the needs of their workplace.

Yesterday representatives from Titus Salt School, Shipley College, Bradford Council and the four employers involved signed an agreement to create the formal partnership.

The Lord Mayor of Bradford, Coun Dale Smith, said: “Everyone in Bradford wants our young people to have access to the best education opportunities.

“Industrial Centres of Excellence are a great way of education providers and businesses working together to achieve this.”