Commitment to our College learner and employers is a certainty

It feels rather surreal to be saying we are now officially in the Summer break here at Nelson and Colne College Group, having promptly had to move to remote learning earlier this year following the Covid-19 outbreak.

We marked the end of term at our tenth annual staff Health and Wellbeing Day a couple of weeks ago. The theme this year was ‘Apart but Together’, and we certainly honoured this with an array of Zoom activities, team 10K efforts (socially distanced, of course), and virtual picnics.

Looking ahead, summer is usually defined by celebrating the achievements of our A Level and vocational students who are heading off to university, employment or an Apprenticeship, and welcoming our new starters who are full of excitement about starting life at College, fresh off the back of GCSE Results Day.

Enrolment this year for our new starters is going to be different through an online portal, and we are currently communicating with all our applicants on how this is going to work.

There is one certainty that all colleges can all subscribe to, and that is a commitment that we will be there to support our 16-18-year-old applicants, as well as our adult learners and our employer partners.

Lancashire’s colleges believe that skills will play a vital part in the economic recovery, helping businesses and communities to thrive and that is why we at Nelson and Colne College Group are part of a dozen Further Education and Sixth Form colleges across Lancashire to make a joint commitment to:

  • deliver a wide range of exciting education and training opportunities for adults, from foundation skills to degree-level courses, to develop new skills and further their careers;
  • help young people achieve their full potential and to maximise their future opportunities as they make the transition from school to College;
  • work more closely than ever with employers, ensuring the workforce has the professional and technical skills needed to help businesses bounce back.

Lancashire’s colleges provide the highest quality education and training, critical in driving social mobility and providing the skills to boost the local, regional and national economy.

I’m proud that Nelson and Colne College Group is part of sector that provides education and training to over 95,000 young and adult learners each year from entry level to postgraduate, including Apprenticeships, and work with over 10,000 businesses.

Come September, our primary aim is to support our students and Apprentices to get a good start to the year. All students will enjoy face to face learning from the start of their programme and it is essential that we help to settle them into College life as soon as possible so they are able to get the most out of their education and take the next steps towards their career aspirations.

I look forward to welcoming our new starters to College in the new academic year, and in the meantime I wish you a happy, healthy and safe summer break. Amanda.

New vision for the college of the future puts Further Education at the heart of investment and opportunity

A vision for the college of the future putting Further Education at the heart of investment and opportunity has been set out in a newly-published report.

The blueprint, published this week by the Independent Commission on the College of the Future, has been fully endorsed by Nelson and Colne College Group’s Principal and Chief Executive Amanda Melton, who sits on the Commission as representative of College Principals in England.

The report entitled ‘People, productivity and place: a new vision for colleges’ focuses on what the demands and needs will be of colleges in 10 years’ time and the changes that are needed in the sector in order to achieve this.

Issues the Commission has explored include demographic change, the climate crisis, technological revolution, and the changing demands of the labour market – and how colleges can be at the heart of meeting those challenges.

The report is accompanied by a collection of short essays from leading voices from across the education and skills system and case studies about the civic role of colleges during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Commission, led by the UK’s National Statistician Sir Ian Diamond, believes the college of the future will be central to driving a fairer, more sustainable and more prosperous society:

● For people, colleges will be a touchpoint for everyone throughout their lives as the world changes.

● For productivity, colleges will provide strategic advice and support for employers to drive business change, innovation and future workforce planning.

● For place, colleges will have the resources and funding to play an even greater role in fostering healthy and connected communities.

Amanda Melton said: “For too long colleges in England have not had the recognition and investment that they deserve – representing a tremendous lost potential.

“The UK Government’s FE White Paper for England presents a critical opportunity for boldly affirming the role and mission of colleges, alongside universities, to meet the education, skills and training needs of everyone throughout their lives.

“The infrastructure and expertise are there, we just need to create systemic collaboration with employers and universities and provide colleges with a clearer role. Colleges should be home to training for young people and adults, offering IAG, business support and routes into work, and they must play their part in moulding the future workforce.

“The vision we have launched marks a moment when our sector is saying that, with investment and reform, we can together deliver more for people, productivity and place.”

The Commission is now taking feedback on its vision before publishing its final report in the autumn.

For more information about the Independent Commission on the College of the Future, visit the website at

Nelson and Colne College Group is one of the leading College Groups nationally and consists of Nelson and Colne College, Accrington and Rossendale College and Lancashire Adult Learning, supporting 20,000 learners annually.

Applicants looking to apply to Nelson and Colne College or Accrington and Rossendale College for a September start still have the time. Visit or or contact the Admissions Team on 01282 440272.

For Lancashire Adult Learning’s wide range of courses, visit the website at or call 0333 003 1717.