South & City College Birmingham
On 1st August, the merger of South Birmingham College and City College Birmingham was confirmed with the merged college to be called South & City College Birmingham. I am very excited about this merger as the Handsworth Campus on Soho Road will be part of the new merged college.
Now with 1,200 staff, the college will provide a wide range of vocational courses for more than 25,000 learners, becoming one of the largest colleges in the country for further education. Subjects include motor vehicle, construction, care and media.
The amalgamation of the two colleges was given the final go ahead on 19 July 2012 after completing a stringent consultation period which received overwhelming local support. The change of name to South and City College was approved by the Secretary of State for Education in July.
Over a number of years, unfortunately, Handsworth Campus has not attracted the number of students or provided the variety of courses that the people of North West Birmingham have required. Having yesterday met with the leadership of the merged college including Principle Mike Hopkins, Deputy Principle Stuart Cutforth and Assistant Principle Sardul Dhesi, I am looking forward to working very closely with the leadership in ensuring that the college caters for the needs of the community and the old community college feeling of the 80′s and 90′s returns.
South & CIty College Birmingham are committed to the Handsworth Campus becoming an integral element of the community that it serves.
I am pleased to see that development has already started at the site with vast investment from the new college. The Handsworth Campus will also become the most prominent Disability Learning Centre in the region attracting students from across the city.
The merged college will continue as a Beacon college, a status given to South Birmingham College following the OFSTED inspection that recognises excellence within further education colleges. South and City College Birmingham is the only general further education college in Birmingham and Solihull to have Beacon College status.
Unfortunately, the Lozells & East Handsworth Ward I represent, has higher than national average unemployment rates and has had them since statistics were collated around this. We also have substantially higher than national average youth unemployment figures and still feature in the 10% most deprived wards in the country. I look forward to working closely with the beacon college to ensure they can cater for the needs of the community and help address some of the inequalities.
The college now has sites in Digbeth, Handsworth, Tyseley, Bordesley Green, Balsall Heath, Hall Green, Golden Hillock and Ladywood.
To find out about courses visit www.southandcity.com or call 0800 611 6311.