Left to right – Greater Manchester Strategic Area Lead Jesse Garrick, Assistant Director and Area Lead for Lancashire Paul Evans, Assistant Director and Area Lead for Cheshire & Warrington Martin Wood, Deputy Area Lead for Liverpool City Region Ellie Stanborough, North West Cross Regional Support Rowan Churchill, Assistant Director and Area Lead for Cumbria Sami Falou.

VIPs tour £47million Channelside campus

Senior government officials from across the North have visited a Furness College campus on a fact-finding mission.

Members from the Cities and Local Growth Unit (CLGU) took a tour of the Channelside campus to see the link between the college and employers and how they work together to improve higher level skills.

The visit is part of the government’s levelling up agenda to see how further education is helping to narrow the skills gap and how funding, such as the Town Deal and initiatives from the Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership, will be spent to support regeneration.

They took a tour of the state-of-the-art workshops at Channelside led by curriculum director Kate Colebourn with digital marketing apprentice Kane Fleming. The work-ready environment around college was showcased including welding bays, motor vehicle workshop and construction workshops.

CLGU officials included Dr. Sami Falou, Assistant Director and area lead for Cumbria, alongside area leads from Lancashire, Greater Manchester and Liverpool.

A spokesperson for CLGU said: “Many thanks to Furness College for allowing CLGU North West team to visit on Tuesday afternoon.”

“It was great to hear about the range of courses the college has to offer and to see the fantastic facilities in place to support students.”

“We loved hearing about Kane’s journey and the amazing things he is achieving at Furness College. We hope to hear many more student success stories and we will be back to visit in the near future.”

Principal and Chief Executive of Furness College Professor Andrew Wren said it was great to hear praise for the college’s wide range of provision, which doesn’t limit learning opportunities.

“It is important for our curriculum to offer the widest range of courses as possible because this reflects the needs of the area,” he said.

“At college we are very much community run and we recognise that not all individuals want to go into a STEM-related career. Our wide range of courses, including healthcare, education and career-focused new T Levels means all our students get to pursue the career they want and not the job they feel they need to take.”

BAE Systems, Orsted, Siemens, Spirit Energy were all employers who were mentioned during the tour as employers which the college works closely with to support education and skills training.

For more information on the Towns Deal Fund visit: https://townsfund.org.uk/about

For more information about the courses offered at Furness College visit: https://www.furness.ac.uk/

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