Posted on 13 October 2023

Construction Skills Celebrated for National Colleges Week 2023

Leeds College of Building is celebrating national Colleges Week – the annual showcase of college activities and how they transform lives and communities. 

The celebration spans two weeks this year (9th – 20th October 2023) to ensure all colleges can participate regardless of half term dates. For the first time, this has allowed for a dual focus, influencing stakeholders on both local and national stages.  
The first week focused on how colleges support local skills, labour markets, and life chances. Leeds College of Building highlighted its exceptional work using the daily campaign themes of Construction (Monday 9th), Digital (Tuesday 10th), and Green Skills (Wednesday 10th). 
The second week shines a light on the role colleges play in supporting the national economy and how, with greater investment, the sector can help boost the country’s flagging productivity levels. The week includes an event in Parliament on Wednesday, 18th October, attended by college leaders, MPs, and peers. 
After campaigning by the Association of Colleges (AoC) and the wider college sector, including Leeds College of Building CEO & Principal Nikki Davis at the Mind the Skills Gap event, the government announced the most significant funding boost to further education in a decade. However, years of underfunding and a widening gap between pay in schools and colleges means funds do not go far enough.  

Nikki Davis, Leeds College of Building Principal & CEO, said:  
“Colleges are vital in addressing significant skills gaps across the economy, including the next generation of skilled construction professionals. Research shows that around a quarter of a million extra construction workers will be needed by 2026 to meet growing demands on the UK sector, and to counter an ageing workforce.

“Colleges Week helps us to highlight the critical work we are doing to try and meet shortages in priority areas - such as net-zero carbon emissions and Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) - and deliver the diverse labour market the country needs.” 

To mark Colleges Week, Leeds College of Building will host its next Open Event on 19th October (5 – 7 pm, North Street Campus). Prospective students can register to attend and find out more about vital construction skills and careers in the industry. 

Around 1.6 million students are educated in further education colleges across the UK, and this sixth annual event is an opportunity to showcase the breadth of opportunities colleges provide and the ways in which they transform lives and communities. 

Leeds College of Building was established in 1960 and is the only specialist general further education construction college in the UK. Over 5,500 students attend a comprehensive range of more than 200 courses related to construction and the built environment. In total, the College trains nearly 2,800 apprentices across all areas of provision, working with around 800 employers across the UK. 

Over the last five years, higher-level courses have grown to represent a significant proportion of Leeds College of Building provision.  Approximately 80% of delivery in the new University Centre now covers Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeships, Higher, and Degree Apprenticeships. In September, the College received an overall ‘Silver’ rating from the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF)  - a national scheme for excellence run by the Office for Students (OfS). 

Colleges week 2023

Colleges week 2023