Response to the publication of the West Yorkshire Area Review

Responding to the publication of the West Yorkshire Area Review, Cllr Susan Hinchcliffe, Chair of the Local Steering Group overseeing the review in West Yorkshire and Leader of Bradford Metropolitan District Council said:

“The Area Review was the first time I’ve seen all the colleges coming together from across the region to talk about the future skills needs of West Yorkshire.  They all put in a huge amount of time and effort into thinking about how they might best work together to equip our young people with the right skills.  

“Given Government funding constraints the debate inevitably made each college consider their own financial sustainability.  A wide variety of partnerships and collaborations were considered but not all were adopted.  Each college has a board of Governors who, quite rightly, are the ultimate arbiters of any proposal for change. 

“Just because the initial process is over and the report published does not mean that the discussions end here.  In a fast changing world we need to be alert to new skills requirements and to opportunities for apprenticeships coming through.  We will want to continue the dialogue under the auspices of West Yorkshire Combined Authority and the LEP and I’ll be working on how we can best support this important work.”

Joanne Roney CBE, Chief Executive at Wakefield Council and skills lead for the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership said: 

 “This review helps us understand how we can support our colleges to remain robust and sustainable in the ever changing education landscape and economic climate.  It also provides us with the opportunity to address areas where our colleges can work smarter and in turn, create savings and share knowledge through collaboration. 

 “Our colleges are so important to our economy, giving young people a first step onto the career ladder and working with employers to ensure we nurture the talent needed to meet the high skilled jobs in the pipeline. That is why we have been supporting our Colleges through our £79m Skills Capital Fund to invest in new technology, equipment and premises and supporting businesses to understand the benefits of apprenticeships. 

“We will now work with each individual college to implement these recommendations and ensure the work we do has a direct impact on our economic performance.”