Top local employers invited to work with college to set direction for exciting new curriculum

East Coast College is inviting employers to work in partnership with them to deliver a revised
curriculum which meets the local skills needs of employers.

The move will see employers at the heart of the college’s curriculum planning process, ensuring all
courses and apprenticeship programmes are designed and endorsed by businesses to provide work-
ready skills and knowledge.

The college will be working to establish a Strategic Employer Partnership Panel, in addition to
Employer Advisory Groups focussing on healthcare, construction and civil engineering, clean energy,
advanced engineering and manufacturing, the visitor economy and hospitality and special education
needs and disabilities support (SEND).

East Coast wants to hear from employers both large and small operating around its campuses in
Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth who would like to play a part in providing insights to setting a
curriculum for the future local economy.

Julia Bates, Deputy Principal for Curriculum and Strategic Partnerships at East Coast College, said:
“Our strengthened partnership work will place employers at the heart of our learning, helping us
better deliver programmes which meet the local skills needs. The Strategic Employer Partnership
Panel will validate curriculum for 2023/2024 and beyond, with the sector specific Employer Advisory
Groups providing support and challenge for our curriculum planning activities.

“Having employers work with us is critical to ensuring we meet their needs better, connecting our
students to local opportunities with a refreshed focus on adults who need to upskill or reskill for the
jobs that are about to come online. It is an exciting time to be living and working as a part of the
clean energy coast. We have the world’s largest market for offshore wind on our doorstep, several
nationally significant large infrastructure projects being undertaken locally, including the
development of Sizewell C nuclear power station.

“It is our role to link people in the region to these exciting opportunities. We are very lucky to be
supported with great opportunities already for students including work placements with Morgan
Sindall, Lovell, Adnams, James Paget University Hospital and Farrans, to name a few. It’s now time to
extend this work, to realise the ambitions we have for our people and place.”

Mark Flynn, Director of Strategic Projects at the James Paget, who will be part of the Strategic
Employer Partnership Panel, said: “I would encourage all local employers and organisations to be
involved in this work – our hospital has seen a real benefit in the close working relationship we have
had with East Coast College, including the ten years of the joint ‘Project Search’ programme. This has
provided opportunities for local students to gain valuable experience of working in the health and
care sector, and help the James Paget to deliver the best care for our communities.”

Richard Gapper, Managing Director of Bison Electrical, who will also be part of the panel, said: “The
investment that the government are putting into the East of England to accommodate the new
building of Sizewell C, the growth of Felixstowe, continued growth of offshore wind and other local
projects, will present a huge demand for skilled jobs in the area. The Strategic Employer Partnership
Panel will play a vital role to ensure that the labour requirements will meet the expectations of
employers and will provide a gateway for long-term, skilled employment.”

Stuart Rimmer MBE, East Coast College Chief Executive said “This is an exciting strategic
development. The college curriculum has always had the strong enduring support from local
business, but this takes it to the next level and I’d encourage all local business to get involved and
influence the future skills in our locality.”

The employer groups will also help the college remove barriers to learning and work, develop work-
ready attitudes and create a pipeline of future talent for the region delivering student success and
progression to higher education and apprenticeships. In addition, East Coast is looking to deliver
further opportunities to upskill employers’ existing workforce, strengthen options for adult short
courses and deliver green skills.

Anyone interested in working with East Coast College on curriculum validation is invited to email
Julia Bates at j.bates@eastcoast.ac.uk.