To create a new college which will serve the communities of Enfield, Haringey and North East London better, the Governors of the College of North East London (CONEL) and Enfield College hope to merge the two organisations.
With the support of the London Learning and Skills Council (LSC) the colleges have been looking at the aims of the new, merged college and how it would work to deliver these in practice. The proposal provides opportunities to create an Olympic Legacy College and the LSC has agreed to start public consultation to gauge support in North East London. Consultation will end on 19 January 2009.
The vision for a new college is one of collaboration and partnerships across the community with schools, local authorities, higher education, other education and training providers and with community organisations. This would directly contribute to the sustainable and successful regeneration legacy of the 2012 Olympics. It would enhance the provision of education and training for skills, both for adults and young people in North London. It would particularly benefit Haringey communities in Tottenham and Enfield residents in Ponders End and Edmonton.
In a joint statement, the Chairmen of Governors of CONEL and Enfield College, Keith Brown and Steve Wright, expressed their hope that local communities, businesses and other training organisations would contribute their views and support the plans for a “vibrant college in the Upper Lea Valley”.
They emphasised that the merged college would provide new vocational opportunities, offering additional training and education courses which are not currently within commuting distance for learners in this part of North East London. It would offer new opportunities for adult learners, along with additional progression routes for students to move on within the college, rather than having to go elsewhere for the next stage of their education and training.
The new college would also aim to expand the current range of employer-led training, ensuring strong provision of training for employability, so that people are well-equipped for the local labour market. It would also offer more interactive and flexible learning opportunities, to enable learners to fit their education or training around other commitments, such as work and family life. Apprenticeships or bespoke education and training opportunities – tailored to employers and the skills they need among their workforce – would be among elements of the work-based learning on offer.
"The merged college will bring together the strengths and potential for development of Enfield College and CONEL. It will add value through increased choice and opportunities for learners, improved services and upgraded facilities. Enfield College and CONEL recognise each other as the best partner and a merged college as the best option for learners, employers and the local community. We hope that local residents and employers will support our vision."
Enfield College and CONEL have a strong track record of working in partnership – they have already run a joint CoVE (Centre of Vocational Excellence) in Early Years. CONEL leads the North London Train to Gain Consortium and has received certification under the new Training Quality Standard. College leaders believe that a merged college would bring greater levels of expertise in delivering high quality training for work to the most economically disadvantaged parts of Haringey and Enfield.
If the merger takes place, the new college will continue to operate at its current sites in Ponders End and Tottenham. It is planned that the current buildings will be improved and redeveloped to provide high quality, state of the art facilities, which would have a vital impact on local regeneration and the Olympic legacy. Current learners of both CONEL and Enfield College will complete their courses and will not be affected. Future learners will have more choice and more opportunities to achieve the skills and qualifications they need.
The consultation runs until 19 January.