Central London Forward Director Joe Dromey visits New City College as part of Love Our Colleges Week

Central London Forward Director Joe Dromey visits New City College as part of Love Our Colleges Week

As part of Love Our Colleges Week, New City College was proud to host Joe Dromey, Director of Central London Forward on Wednesday 28 February at the College’s Hackney Campus. He was joined by Mary Vine-Morris, London Area Director of the Association of Colleges as well as Aleyna Prokudina, Policy Officer for Skills & Net Zero at Central London Forward. 

Alison Arnaud, Principal of New City College’s Hackney and Tower Hamlets Campuses welcomed the group, and an initial presentation from LSIF Project Manager Sam Dilliway-Davies allowed for a discussion on collaborative partnerships within FE.  

New City College are delighted to be leading the £6.7m Central London Forward Local Skills Improvement Fund (LSIF), partnering with 16 leading college and education providers across the region. The project will be running from November 2023 to March 2025.The LSIF has been provided by the Department for Education to help education providers respond to the May 2023 Local Skills Improvement Plan created by Business LDN. They identified that all sectors in London are struggling to recruit people with the skills they need to grow. 

The group also took a tour of the college’s Low Carbon Technologies Training Centre. The lab has been developed at New City College’s Hackney Campus and is invaluable to employers who need to retrain employees in green skills and low carbon technologies. Courses and training for the next generation of installers include Solar PV, Solar Thermal, Air Source Heat Pumps, Electric Storage, Electric Vehicle Charging, Retrofit, and Energy Efficiency.  

Steve Brayshaw, Group Curriculum Director: Construction & Engineering and Calley Page, Deputy Group Director Apprenticeships & Business Development at New City College explained how the College are leading in the training of employees in low carbon skills using their dedicated Green energy labs. The College currently upskills learners in solar thermal, solar PV, Vehicle charge points and air source heat pumps. With the new funding the College will venture into retrofit technologies. 

The group saw the facilities where installation and maintenance of solar photovoltaic panels, air source heat pumps and battery storage are taught. They heard how training in these technologies is now available at the college for 16-18 year olds following relevant qualifications, as well as experienced tradespeople looking to upskill and re-qualify.  

Nazy Mobasser, Deputy Group Curriculum Director: Computing & ICT then introduced the group to a space that will become the ‘Shoreditch Centre for Digital Innovation’. The College is excited to see the progress of the new Generative AI course being launched next week.  

Joe Dromey said: “Central London Forward worked with employers to put together a Local Skills Improvement Plan. This set out how we can improve the skills system locally, so that it better meets the needs of employers and Londoners. It was an absolute pleasure to visit New City College to mark Colleges Week. They have made fantastic use of the Local Skills Improvement Fund to respond to the needs of local employers; from installing state of the art green skills labs, to developing cutting edge digital courses in AI and cyber-security. Colleges like NCC play a vital role in upskilling the community, and in providing the skills that employers need.” 

Principal Alison Arnaud said: “It was wonderful to host our partners from Central London Forward and the AoC at our Hackney Campus as part of Love Our Colleges, to showcase some of the exciting work we are leading with the LSIF project  in our Low Carbon Technology Labs. Collaboration between FE, government and industry is essential in ensuring that skills gap and green targets are met.  These initiatives also ensure that local communities benefit through innovative solutions to local and national challenges. We look forward to using this partnership to build further momentum and thank CLF and AoC for a productive and exciting meeting. “ 

The guests ended off being treated to a delicious cakes, snacks and tea prepared by NCC Hospitality and Catering students who train in Hackney’s OKN1 restaurant.