Following on from the success of last year’s ‘Love Our Colleges’ campaign, Oaklands College dedicated the week of the 18 – 22 October to Colleges Week 2021. The college used the time to highlight the amazing work colleges do and why long-term investment is crucial if the government is to ‘level up’ all areas of the country.
As part of Colleges Week, Oaklands celebrated the success of its current and former students, provided careers advice, showcased student success across national catering competitions, track and field athletics, art and design, fashion and a variety of course areas.
In addition to this, Oaklands invited the local community to come and sample the very best of the college, with November Drop-in Advice Evenings across both its St Albans Campus on Wednesday 20 and Thursday 21 November, encouraging students to speak with tutors and receive help and advice about their future plans, education and job opportunities.
Oaklands highlighted the wonderful work produced by its students within surrounding communities of its St Albans, Welwyn Garden City and Borehamwood centres, from regenerative projects including the Smallford Station to creative artwork projects to brighten up the newly redeveloped Hatfield Town Centre, the college is determined to ensure the work of its students and the influence of the college is beneficial to its local communities.
During Colleges Week, Oaklands College saw students and staff calling for sustainability across the college sector, with the college dedicated to providing a sustainable campus through its current St Albans redevelopment, ensuring the college has one eye on future generations of students. With the government’s comprehensive spending review taking place imminently, Colleges Week is also a reminder to the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak that funding colleges, training and skills is the catalyst for a stronger, fairer and more resilient society. We are calling on Rt Hon Dame Margaret Hodge MP and Jon Cruddas MP to ensure we remain a priority in the comprehensive spending review.
Andrew Slade, Principal of Oaklands College said: Andrew Slade, Principal and CEO Oaklands College: “Colleges have an enormously positive impact on individuals, our communities and our economy and their role has never been more critical given the pressing skills needs the country faces as we re-imagine a post-Covid world. From green technologies, through to providing direct routes into universities, colleges like Oaklands, which this year marks its centenary, are part of the vital Further Education Sector which is a driving force within the nation’s skills powerhouse, transforming economies and transforming lives.”
David Hughes, Chief Executive of the Association of Colleges, said: “Colleges Week showcases exactly why further education holds the answers to some of the biggest issues facing all of us. Now more than ever we need highly skilled and well-educated workforces to deliver the economic recovery this government aspires to.
“Colleges Week this year is about celebrating the amazing work colleges do, educating 2.2 million people every year, including more than 600,000 16 to 18-year-olds. They hold the key to reducing skills gaps, combatting inequality, and providing better opportunities to disadvantaged communities. This week is about making our voices heard and campaigning with partners to make sure colleges continue to be a serious political, economic and social priority.”