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About Oldham College

About Oldham College

Oldham College is fully prepared to meet the significant economic and educational challenges which face us over the next five to ten years.

Much of our estate has been renewed and modernised and the latest addition – a stunning new state-of-the-art £9 million Construction Centre – is currently being built on our campus site.

We have navigated a very difficult period of funding pressures, and reignited our commitment to expert and high quality teaching, learning and assessment. We were rated ‘Good’ across every category by Ofsted in 2019, and have a TEF Silver rating which rates our degrees on par with some of the best Universities and HE providers ion England.

We have won a clutch of national awards in the past year. We are also shortlisted for the prestigious FE College of the Year accolade at the TES Awards in October 2020 because we’ve shown excellence in delivering a high-quality curriculum with brilliant outcomes for learners.

Across all our services there is also a very clear understanding about our purpose, role and remit, and the contribution that we can and should make to national and local economic and educational outcomes.

That is all driven by our Strategic Plan (2019-24) which is currently being reviewed to reflect the post-Covid-19 era.

Our role in Oldham and Greater Manchester

Oldham College specialises in technical and professional education and training (which used to be called vocational learning).

This differs from general academic education in numerous ways because it is focussed on practical skills and knowledge needed in the real workplace.

We have a range of choice for learners of all ages and abilities wanting to join the next generation of Key Workers.

No matter whether a learner arrives with good qualifications or none, our programmes are tailored to the needs of individuals, from entry to degree level.

Learners also have a choice of pathways which are designed specifically for the industry or sector they wish to work in.

For some this is a mainly classroom-based route, but most will have a considerable work-based element, and many (apprenticeships) are predominantly based in the workplace.

All of our provision is delivered in partnership with employers. It is that link between the educational setting and the workplace which makes our technical and professional education and training unique.

We are the natural home for the 50 per cent of young people and adults who want to upskill or reskill without following the traditional residential university route, or who want degree level skills but through a more flexible, local and affordable route.

We also pride ourselves on our understanding and responsiveness to the needs of the learners.

Post-16 education is changing

The mass expansion of higher education has raised questions for the government and for learners about affordability – and it has led many employers to consider alternative means of managing recruitment.

The new National Skills Plan is part of a series of recent reforms that have sought to change the education and skills landscape. It sets out new pathways into careers across 15 of the main sectors of the economy. Many of these are less dependent on the traditional academic model, and provide a choice of high quality routes into the labour market.

These aim to teach useful skills and useful knowledge which employers will find relevant.

As part of this Oldham College will be providing the new T Level qualifications for learners from September 2021.

The Government’s commitment to reshaping the landscape of post-16 education in response to the economic challenges of low productivity, faster economic growth, and technological change is a national priority.

Applying it to the skills needs of Greater Manchester is also a priority for business and the City Region.

Applying it to our borough is what Oldham College is set up to deliver with expert tutors and assessors across a wide range of industrial sectors, industry standard facilities, and an infrastructure to support good employer partnerships, work placements and excellent learner support.

Delivering work-related education and training, and providing the additional help which learners need to succeed – from additional English and maths provision through to pastoral support and expert, focussed SEND provision – are unique features of our offer.

Our priorities

We are the town’s specialist provider of work-related education and training.

That means we are committed to working with both young people and adults, and in partnership with employers and other stakeholders, to achieve the best economic and social outcomes that we can.

We’re also at the heart of the Oldham community.

We don’t just offer a great campus life and activities to keep learners healthy and developing, we also work with important social causes and partners across every sector of the borough.

To direct us in achieving this impact, we have four strategic priorities to help organise and guide our actions.

These are: Specialism and reputation; High performance; Digitalisation and technology; and Community.

To support our commitments we are also setting ourselves some stretching targets. This includes an ambition to continually improve our results across all programme areas, and to strive for ‘outstanding’ status in terms of quality and financial resilience.

By setting out these priorities clearly and transparently we are making it easier to understand what we are seeking to achieve when we say we want to be The Best Place to Learn and Work.