City College Plymouth: Redesigning skills provision for the benefit of the region


Jamie Rowley, Director of Apprenticeships and Employer Solutions at City College Plymouth, talks about addressing the possible barriers that threaten our collective prosperity.

With skills provision very much at the forefront of the Government’s ongoing agenda, City College Plymouth has been reflecting on the needs of the city, and what the city is currently receiving in terms of skills provision. 

The College is confident in meeting the needs of employers, but in a world that is changing at a faster pace than ever before, a more dynamic and measured approach is needed to ensure the city has the skills it needs to not only fulfil, but exceed, its ambitious vision. 

As a city, we need to come together to address the possible barriers that threaten our collective prosperity. Higher levels of skills ultimately lead to more high-value jobs, we know this, but our city has below national levels of attainment for numeracy and literacy.

We need to raise aspirations and give people a sense of ownership over their futures so we don’t miss out on our industries’ much-needed future talent. 

Like organisations and leaders across the city, we recognise the role Plymouth can play on the international stage. As the leader of the council stated in a recent blog, high-value jobs raise aspirations and by raising aspirations, you drive up education standards.


We realise at the College that, particularly from an employer’s perspective, access to skills and training could still be more straightforward. There are millions of pounds in unspent Levy funds and whilst Apprenticeships have changed drastically to deliver the skills employers say they need, we are aware that some organisations still do not take advantage of the training they could access to sustain and grow their business. 

As the world changes, so must the College and how we work. We are not only the anchor organisation for skills but we seek to be the learning destination of choice. How we manage the skills we offer is changing, and we have appointed a highly talented team of Curriculum Lead and Development Officers (CLDOs) who have more autonomy over their subject areas than ever before. They will drive the review and redesign of curriculum delivery models to ensure skills remain at the heart of every decision. 

They will also look to develop stronger and more meaningful employer links, and they will strive to ensure the College is meeting the needs of our civic, community, education and employer partners. 

These new CLDOs will respond to the Skills Inspection Framework as set out by Ofsted and will work with stakeholders to take our skills provision from good to outstanding. But even more importantly, they will lead teams that continue to stretch, challenge and inspire every adult and every school-leaver who turns to us for direction. Our staff will continue to inspire our community to control their own destiny, to raise the profile of your industries, and be key players in creating a fairer future for all. 

City College Plymouth’s Curriculum and Development Officers
NameAreaImpact these areas will have
Alan AustinEngineering“My overall aim is to provide the region’s engineering and marine industries with the skilled workforce they need to become world-leaders in these sectors.”
Rachel FeaviourAccess to Higher Education“By allowing more people to access university, we can improve the prosperity of the city and wider region.”
Claire JonesPublic services and sport“As a service city, our students will join the many government and community professions to make our society safer, whilst our sports students will go on to have a meaningful impact on the health of people in the South West by promoting an active lifestyle.”
Debra JoryMaths and auto engineering“Maths is the foundation for key growth areas and STEM subjects, and by enhancing our provision and improving the city’s numeracy skills, we can contribute to the success of these important industries.”
Emma LindsayEnglish, business and ESOL“Business and English are largely about effective communication, and by empowering people with the skills for effective communication, this will raise aspirations and have an overall impact on the area.”
Hayley LovebridgeHair and beauty“Our students will positively impact the health and wellbeing of the people in Plymouth by providing services that help them to combat stress, build confidence and make them feel happy.”
Larry MoodyHospitality and catering“Plymouth’s potential as a tourist destination is still hugely untapped and through exceptional food and hospitality businesses, we have a huge effect on the local economy.”
Steve MurphySkills Development and pre-employment“Everyone should have the opportunity to develop the skills required for work, independent living and a happy healthy lifestyle, and with our courses we are helping to alleviate inequality and creating a fairer society.” 
Sam PomeroyArt, media and performance“My subject areas impact people’s lives in so many ways, from providing them with entertainment which is so important for wellbeing, to allowing people to connect.”
Rachael Rowing-ParkerHealth and social care and childcare“Not only do these areas offer many career opportunities, we have the chance to have a meaningful impact on the lives of the most vulnerable members in society, improving health, wellbeing and encouraging high aspirations.”
Terry SuchConstruction “The construction industry isn’t just important for the local economy but will be a key player in the actions we take to overcome the threat of climate change and help alleviate the inequalities created by homelessness.” 
Joe StephensonScience and computing“Science and computing will be the two industries that find the solutions to the problems we face in the future and will overcome the threats facing humanity.” 

As employers, we welcome you to engage with us, work with us, talk to us and come on the transformational journey that we are undertaking.

You’re welcome to contact Jamie by e-mailing Jamie can also arrange for you to talk with one of the Curriculum Lead and Development Officers.

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