Ten colleges in the North West have joined forces to form a joint venture company boasting a combined income of nearly half a billion pounds.
Principals have been working on the move to form the Greater Manchester Colleges Group since 2010.
It is believed to be the first of its kind in a city region and includes include Bolton College, Bury College, Hopwood Hall College, The Manchester College and Oldham College.
Salford City, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford and Wigan and Leigh colleges will also be involved in the partnership, which aims to enhance students’ job hopes.
And the partnership has moved forward after the colleges’ principals successfully secured a European funded bid worth £14m, which will play “a critical role in ensuring that the region has a skilled and educated population,” said a spokesperson.
They added that the group represented and promoted the FE sector within Greater Manchester and contributed more than £500m to the local economy each year.
Tameside College principal Peter Ryder is the group’s chair. He said: “As a group we will be continuing to work with local and regional employers to bring a greater emphasis on enterprise, entrepreneurialism and innovative thinking to the education sector.
“We aim to build capacity and excellence by developing existing provision and pulling together the expertise and specialist skills from all of the colleges involved.
“This latest development is testament to the optimism we have for the future, and our shared belief in the positive benefits for learners and the wider community of our working closely together.”
Robin Newton-Syms, the group’s partnership director, said: “Our aim is to use the new company to attract more funding into Greater Manchester and facilitate work with other organisations.
“We already have strong links with the Chamber of Commerce, private sector training providers, local authorities and the voluntary sector which is helping employers develop the skills of their workers.
“The potential now is for colleges to help shape the future of businesses, by offering effective training solutions and skills development which will enable them to grow.”
Million income in 2011/12
|Hopwood Hall College||
|The Manchester College||
|Salford City College||
|Sir Bill Moorcroft|
|Wigan and Leigh College||
|Cath Hurst OBE|