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Open College Network West Midlands Centres: Lifetime learning for all

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Colleges encouraged to celebrate Colleges Week 2020 Next Week

Wednesday, 14 October 2020

It’s Colleges Week 2020 next week (19 – 23 October) and Open College Network West Midlands is calling on all partner colleges to get involved with the national campaign. 

This year’s theme is all about colleges building communities, boosting businesses, and supporting people. By bringing the whole further education community together, the Week celebrates the impact of colleges on people, employers, and the economy. 
Open College Network West Midlands is supporting the Association of Colleges (AoC) which wants to see colleges and funding for them prioritised nationally and locally to aid the recovery from the pandemic that will be vital to the future success of the country. 

Kevern Kerswell, Chief Executive of Open College Network West Midlands, said:

“By developing industry relevant qualifications, we aim to ensure that all learners, regardless of age, background and circumstances are properly equipped with the skills they need to achieve their ambitions in work and in life. This is more important than ever as colleges will be where people who are out of work turn to retrain for a new job opportunity or think about upskilling as the job market changes. 
“The spending review must acknowledge the massive contribution further education makes to society and our economy. It must be the starting point in providing the right levels of investment so that colleges can play their full part in a successful economy as the country recovers from the pandemic and post-Brexit.”

David Hughes, Chief Executive of the Association of Colleges, said: 

“This year has been unprecedented in every way, but colleges have risen to all the challenges thrown at them. Colleges Week is a celebration of all the amazing things colleges do day in day out for students, employers and communities. It’s also about recognising just how important colleges are as we rebuild for a better future through retraining, skills and education. 
“Despite educating 2.2 million people every year, including more than 600,000 16 to 18-year-olds, colleges have been neglected in recent years. The Prime Minister’s announcement earlier this month to expand the training system with colleges at the heart of the skills agenda is welcome. All colleges need now is the investment from government to be able to support even more people and employers. That will improve the life chances of millions of people but it needs college funding to be at the forefront of the upcoming spending review.”
The theme of Colleges Week is building communities, boosting businesses, and supporting people to get the training they need for the jobs of the future, serving local business and community needs.
Colleges Week takes place from 19 – 23 October, with hundreds of events expected to take place across England.

Discover how your college can get involved in the week at: and don't forget to tag us into your posts on Twitter @OpenCollNet


Notes to Editors:
Open College Network West Midlands is a leading national Awarding Organisation, regulated by Ofqual, the Welsh Government and the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA), to develop and award nationally recognised qualifications.
We work in partnership with employers, training providers, colleges, universities, schools and voluntary and community organisations to offer vocational credit-based qualifications, Access to Higher Education Diplomas and quality assured Customised Accreditation that enables learners gain employment or to progress into further learning and Higher Education.  We also Quality Endorse organisations internal training and skills delivery.
We are committed to providing a high quality and responsive accreditation service that promotes widening participation, social inclusion and lifetime learning for all. We support flexible, responsive and quality assured learning opportunities in a wide range of contexts, including in the classroom, at work, in the community, and through distance and e-learning.
Open College Network West Midlands is a not for profit organisation. We invest our resources in supporting our existing products and services, the development of new qualifications and the expansion of our services. We are proud to be a registered charity promoting charitable objectives.
As an Ofqual regulated awarding organisation we are authorised to develop and offer Open College Network West Midlands nationally recognised qualifications. We have an extensive and developing range of qualifications available in a variety of different sectors including:
  • Building and Construction
  • Environment and Working in the Outdoors
  • Health, Social Care and Community
  • ICT and Business
  • Language and Communications
  • Mathematics, English and Functional Skills
  • Science, Technology and Engineering
  • Service Industries
  • The Arts
  • Work Preparation and Employment.
As an Access Validating Agency (AVA) Open College Network West Midlands is licenced by the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) to approve and certificate the Access to Higher Education Diploma. This is a national qualification which is accepted as a standard entry qualification by UK universities.  We work in partnership with Access to Higher Education providers in offering Access to HE programmes, including Diplomas in Nursing and Health, Teaching, Social Work, IT, as well as more general Science, Social Science and Humanities.
Open College Network West Midlands Training
Open College Network West Midlands offers a comprehensive training programme which is open to all Recognised Centres and for staff in other organisations who would find the courses useful.  Our training programme forms part of our support package provided to Recognised Centres. Post-course support and guidance, if required, is also available to all those who attend.
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