Marion Plant OBE

North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College (NWSLC) has added its support to an eight-point skills pledge designed to assist with economic recovery in the West Midlands following the coronavirus crisis.

The Colleges West Midlands Education & Skills Pledge has been launched this month to set out how further education colleges will adapt their services to offer maximum support, helping young people, adults, and employers to address their skills and training issues at this critical time.

 Marion Plant, OBE FCGI, Principal and Chief Executive of NWSLC said, “The COVID-19 pandemic has made a significant impact on students and businesses in the West Midlands. We know that colleges will play a vital role in boosting the recovery and we recognise that ways of working and studying have already seen huge changes that are altering the landscape of future employment. Through our commitment to the Education & Skills Pledge, we are working together to pivot our offer and support individuals and businesses in new ways.”

NWSLC is one of around 20 signatories to the pledge who have all stated their commitment to work collaboratively, supporting people to gain the skills they need as part of the recovery, and helping them to restart their lives.

The Education & Skills Pledge includes a commitment to transition programmes for full-time students to help them adjust to new ways of accessing their college studies at the start of the 2020-21 academic year. It includes an expanded range of redeployment programmes for unemployed adults, those who are recently redundant, or long-term furloughed employees to enable a prompt return to employment. The pledge also includes access to a single point of contact across the West Midlands for businesses seeking help to adapt their workforce to the new conditions.

NWSLC has increased the numbers of students attending its campuses this week in line with government advice on managing the coronavirus pandemic. The college is operating a phased approach to students’ return which is starting with increased provision for vulnerable students, as well as final year students including those who can only take technical assessments on college premises. NWSLC is also welcoming back students on vocational study programmes in small groups that will be managed in accordance with social distancing measures.

NWSLC has remained partially open throughout the lockdown period at its Nuneaton Campus to support the children of keyworkers, those with an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP), students in local authority care, and other students that are known to be vulnerable. These students will continue to be part of the NWSLC engagement project where they will be enabled to progress with their studies in accordance with social distancing measures. Students will be contacted individually to let them know if and when they should attend.