Efforts to help transform the fortunes of a Tees Valley college and its community have been recognised with two national awards.
The titles recognise the Education Training Collective’s (Etc.) commitment to building aspirations and opportunities in Redcar following the merger of Stockton Riverside College and Redcar and Cleveland College.
The Etc. was named winner in the Not for Profit and Community Impact categories at The Institute for Turnaround (IFT) Awards 2021 where Robert Griffiths, who was instrumental in the turnaround projects, collected the coveted prizes on behalf of the group.
Jason Faulkner, Redcar & Cleveland College Principal, said: “This is a college for the community and that is very important to the team here, it was something the team sought to achieve from day one, so to be recognised for community impact, on a national scale, is really quite special and quite incredible.”
Jason explained a merger of the colleges in 2018 brought with it the chance to ensure accessible training opportunities in Redcar, developing skills and increased ambition for a community experiencing a challenging time in its history.
The college has worked closely with local schools, employers and the local and combined authorities, to ensure it is delivering the skills that are most needed. Results have included the creation of a decommissioning academy to match jobs created by the clean-up of the former SSI site, and the development of skills programmes that will align with the demands of emerging local sectors.
A partnership with Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council, the Sir William Turner Foundation, local football clubs and the Football Foundation, has also seen the build of a new 3G all-weather football pitch at the college, proving an asset to both students and grassroots sport in the area.
Jason said: “More young people and adults are being trained and re-trained to take on jobs needed in the local area. The future for people growing up and living in the Redcar area is now brighter than it has been since 2015 when the steelworks closed. We are extremely proud of all that has been achieved at the college and the impact this is now having on the wider community.”
With 10 awards up for grabs, the annual IFT Awards celebrate the best of business turnaround, recognising contributions towards turnaround, transformation and restructuring.
Councillor Mary Lanigan, Leader of Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council, added: “The merger of Redcar and Cleveland College has produced a huge improvement in what is on offer to young people in our borough. From being on the brink of closure to providing quality education where people live has been a hugely impressive transformation.
“Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council works closely with the college to support this ongoing improvement and we are proud of what the college has achieved in providing a better chance in life for people in all of our communities.”