Raising bar for students tops Davies agenda
PRODUCING the next generation of entrepreneurs has become a key mission at City College Plymouth and one that can benefit the city's future, its head says.
Phil Davies, principal at City College Plymouth, said the college had to be "rooted in the community" and particularly ensure "what we are doing is employer led and employer driven".
"That means developing the employability skills of our students, entrepreneurial skills are really important," he said.
"We want to use entrepreneurship as a driver in strategic change in the organisation. Changing the way we do things to deliver the curriculum for our students.
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"We have a critical role. We have 12,000 enrolments a year, the majority from the Plymouth travel-to-work area. A lot of them will stay locally.
"We are trying to make a significant contribution to the economic and social fabric of the city.
"It's not just about an individual but raising aspirations and having high expectations of our students so they can go out and make the city a more successful place and build a better Plymouth."
Mr Davies said a college team, of staff and students, was sent to MADE: The Entrepreneur Festival so they would be inspired by meeting established entrepreneurs.
"And to show them what we are doing here really will lead to successful career opportunities for them," he said.
He said that being invited to become part of the Gazelle Group, the organisation behind the two-day MADE event in Sheffield, is "particularly pertinent for supporting an economy such as Plymouth's".
He said: "The vast majority of our businesses are micro or small to medium sized enterprises.
"However, this is also a national trend with employment opportunities coming from smaller and more varied companies.
"In the current economic climate it is essential we foster an enterprising spirit in our students, equipping them with the skills and attributes required to add value to our communities.
"To do this the college is changing the way we do business and the way in which we deliver our courses.
"It means we are creating a learning environment in which our students get more than their core qualification.
"They will be taken on a journey that helps them to discover and develop their innate creativity, to take informed risks and be confident in taking opportunities for themselves.
"Studying with City College Plymouth will improve their chances of employment, self-employment and business creation."