Every day we face new challenges. But one thing is certain; there is a need to focus on current and future skills in order to ensure resilience, agility, growth and opportunity.
The educational climate faces its own challenges, but the core aspect that cannot be forgotten is the need to work with key sectors to ensure that training is current, engaging and reflects sector need. It can be argued that every college should embrace employer engagement, not just to support employee training but also enthuse and develop curiosity in the future workforce.
The current pandemic has only increased awareness of flexibility and adaptation. East Coast College works hard to ensure that training supports upskilling as well as retraining to allow transferable skills within the region. No one could have foreseen the present, but everyone can ensure that time and skills are not wasted in this journey of mixed opportunities.
I speak to students on a daily basis and there is mixed emotion on what their future will hold. Some show fear of the unknown and have lost a focus on career aspirations, while others see East Anglia as not only home but their future. As I have grown up in I have seen perceptions of a coastal and rural mix tarnished with perceptions of low skills, low ambitions and a bleak outlook. However, the future is one of promise.
The region is now firmly on the map for clean energy and I would ask that every employer makes a pledge to engage with education to ensure we raise aspirations, showcase opportunities and support work experience, employer-led projects or masterclasses to reenergise the heart and mind of the local communities and regional opportunities.
I believe that we are on a journey that will see clean energy at the forefront of regional growth. I believe that every young person on their career path, and every adult who has a change in direction, has the opportunity to find the career that not only provides them with stability and focus, but provides the employer with a committed employee willing to learn and able to support organisational drive.
Ask yourself today: “What can I do today shape someone’s tomorrow?”
Rachel Bunn leads on training and apprenticeships at East Coast College and can be contacted on .ac.uk