Leadership and Management Apprentice praises qualification for boosting his confidence and career progression

A Leadership and Management Apprentice has praised the qualification he is about to complete for giving him the confidence and career progression he was seeking.

Yasin Bux, 36, from Preston, is a Parking and Enforcement Officer Team Leader at Lancashire County Council, and is about to complete his Level 3 Leadership and Management Apprenticeship with Nelson and Colne College Group ahead of schedule.

Based at the County Council’s Highways Department’s Cuerden depot, Yasin has made a significant impact on the performance of the Highways and Transport Team through the knowledge and skills he has developed during his Apprenticeship.

One of the key areas of work Yasin has played a crucial role in is the issuing of parking permits, helping to resolve a series of software issues with a contractor to enable smoother online payment for permits, renewal of permits online and the upload system for providing evidence for a permit.

His work has meant the County Council has recently been able to bring ‘in house’ the production of permits for 9,000 residents from six district councils that previously issued permits on the County Council’s behalf. This decision and greater efficiencies have resulted in a six-figure saving and an approximate 750 hours of administration time annually.

Yasin is also playing an instrumental role in a printing project to reduce the cost of issuing parking ticket and bus lane enforcement letters – which will achieve a saving of tens of thousands of pounds annually – and going forward, a new software system is being introduced by the County Council in 2021 around the processing of parking tickets, a project in which Yasin is playing an integral role with writing training manuals for colleagues.

Yasin, a former student of Christ the King Catholic High School in Preston, said: “I decided to begin my Apprenticeship as I needed a challenge and saw the qualification as a way to improve my chances of promotion. It was also an opportunity to gain a qualification that is relevant to the work I am doing now.

“I’m thoroughly enjoying my Apprenticeship, and I have covered problem solving, leadership, communication, self-awareness, self-management, finance, project management and more. I love putting the theory I’m learning into practice and I’m constantly trying new things out on the team.

“The Apprenticeship has also given me the confidence and motivation to keep progressing into a more senior management position, and I definitely will work towards achieving further Leadership and Management qualifications at higher levels in the future.”

Yasin’s manager Mandy White, who is Senior Parking and Enforcement Officer at Lancashire County Council, said: “Since commencing his Leadership and Management Apprenticeship, Yasin has become so much more confident in his abilities and his progress and the positive impact he continues to have on the way we operate.

“I have no doubt Yasin is destined to progress to upper echelons of management in due course, and I consider myself very lucky to have him as one of my team leaders – hopefully for some time to come.”

Yasin’s Trainer Assessor Julie Garrigan, who is Programme Leader for Leadership and Management Apprenticeships at Nelson and Colne College Group, said: “Since I started working as Yasin’s Trainer Assessor, I have found that he is a totally committed and professional member of his team at Lancashire County Council.

“He is very articulate and is well-respected by his peers. His manager has testified on his leadership and management qualities, and his communication and operational management skills, which have developed considerably through the duration of the Apprenticeship.”

Nelson and Colne College Group offers a wide range of support of Apprenticeships and Training to employers and is currently offering employers across Lancashire and the wider North West region an incentive payment if they hire an Apprentice before 31 January next year.

Any employer that hires a new young Apprentice aged 16-24 prior to that date will receive £2,000, while those that hire new Apprentices aged 25 and over will be paid £1,500.

It means that employers could receive up to £3,000 in total for hiring new 16-18-year-old Apprentices during the incentive scheme, as the funding is in addition to the existing £1,000 incentive the Government already provides for new 16-18-year-old Apprentices, and those aged under-25 with an education, health and care plan.

For more information on Apprenticeships by Nelson and Colne College Group, please visit www.nelson.ac.uk/apprenticeships or call 01282 440319.

Principal champions change as College Commission publishes report on future of Further Education in England

Nelson and Colne College Group’s Principal and CEO is leading the calls for the role of colleges in England to change ahead of the Government’s imminent publishing of a Further Education White Paper.

After sharing its UK-wide recommendations in October, the Independent Commission on the College of the Future this week published the first of its nations-specific reports for England.

Amanda Melton CBE – who sits on the Commission as the sole Commissioner for all College Principals in England – has said it is time the Government invests in colleges as “essential public assets to build skills in England in the short and longer term”.

The Commission is calling for the change to allow colleges in England to provide an even greater range of opportunities for young people and adult learners to enable them to reach their full potential.

It is also seeking to enhance the support colleges can offer to best meet the needs of businesses facing enormous change and challenges, including recovery from the ongoing crisis as well as the urgent need to move to a green economy.

The Future of the English College report includes six key recommendations, and these are:

  1. Introducing a legal duty on colleges to establish networks across appropriate economic geographies, which must be matched by a duty on all other post-16 education providers;
  2. Forming a cross-departmental ministerial taskforce or body to oversee a new UK Government 10-year strategy for education and skills to drive the industrial strategy and other priorities;
  3. Funding colleges to deliver specialised and targeted business support, creating employer ‘hubs’ in key sectors and occupational pathways, especially in digital, construction, engineering and health and social care;
  4. Creating a statutory right to lifelong learning by making lifelong learning accessible and financially viable to all through offering equal loans and grants across Further Education and Higher Education;
  5. Investing in colleges through three-year grant settlements to give colleges the confidence and funding to deliver strategically for people, productivity and place in the economic rebuild;
  6. Streamlining regulation, accountability and the funding system to reduce bureaucracy and to ensure that the system focuses on the mission, purpose and outcomes of colleges. 

Amanda said: “Colleges provide skills and training to local people, employers and communities, often in a challenging and continually changing policy and fiscal environment.

“It is essential that the Government invests in colleges as essential public assets, and builds a new relationship as strategic and trusted partners, securing relevant high-quality learning over all our lives, building the skills England needs in the short and longer term.

“The anticipated FE White Paper will be a vehicle to drive the fundamental systems change needed. But colleges should take a lead role in delivering the transformation required, in the context of the vision for the future and outlined Government reforms.

“This report is a rallying call for colleges. I know we share a collective ambition for the expanded role colleges can and must play in our society and economy. This will require real cultural shifts within the college sector to achieve the Commission’s vision for a collaborative college sector for the future.

“Colleges will then successfully adopt their lead role as lynchpin of a coherent, connected education and skills system that delivers for our communities and economy.”

To read the full report on the English College of the Future, please visit the College Commission website at: www.collegecommission.co.uk/england-final-report

For more information on Nelson and Colne College Group, please visit www.nelsongroup.ac.uk or call 01282 440200.

Lifelong learning is a central theme of the College of the Future

Last week, Nelson and Colne and Colne College Group – including Lancashire Adult Learning – marked Lifelong Learning Week, an annual celebration of the value of learning at all stages of life.

It was an inspiring week, and we shared heart-warming stories on our social media channels of adult learners who we have supported to upskill for a new career, helped improve their health and wellbeing, and given them the essential digital skills needed to enable them to stay better connected in the world of laptops, smartphones and tablets.

Lifelong learning is also a central theme to the final report which has just been published by the Independent Commission on the College of the Future, for which I am the Commissioner for all colleges in England.

The report recommends radical, long-term adult learning reforms, as well as investment, to address current and future skills gaps and also to transform life chances for every adult.

It calls for every adult to have the right to lifetime education and training, with colleges better supported to deliver this in every community across the UK. There are few, if any, more important places in the UK where this needs to happen than here in East Lancashire.

Recent research from the CBI found that nine in 10 people will need new skills by 2030 to support the future economy, and that further and faster action is needed. With the consequences of Covid-19, leaving the EU, climate change and the fourth industrial revolution changing the employment landscape, everyone will need access to part-time, adult and vocational education as the economy and jobs change – and we don’t want Lancashire’s adult learners to be left behind.

For a number of years now, the wonderful team at Lancashire Adult Learning – and the wider College Group – have been working hard to support the ambitions and aspirations of our county’s adult learners.

Very recently, we refreshed our adult learning offer to support adults across the county during this unusual time, with a wide range of free online and flexible courses. As we find ourselves in a second lockdown, new courses starting this month can enhance the employment prospects of individuals, help support their family, improve their health and wellbeing, develop their digital skills or simply develop a hobby. I would encourage readers to visit the Lancashire Adult Learning website at www.lal.ac.uk or our social media pages to find out more.

With a UK-wide approach to adult learning following the publication of the Commission report and its recommendations, I really hope that we can make real progress in providing access to lifelong learning to support individuals, towns and the wider economy. Lifelong learning is a vitally important but hitherto neglected component of our education system. I hope very soon I will be able to provide you with a positive update on its place in our UK skills system when the Government publishes its white paper on Further Education in the near future.

Until next month, Amanda.