Flexibility and adaptability are key to successful college-employer partnerships

The partnership approach followed by Blackpool and The Fylde College's commercial wing, B&FC for Business, is proving highly successful in helping local, regional and national companies to improve the skill levels right across their workforce.

These companies are recognising the benefits that a properly structured workforce development strategy delivers. Employees perform better and are more motivated and committed, which can lead to increases in performance and productivity. Customer service levels also improve and costs can be better controlled leading straight to increased profitability.

As an Ofsted Grade 1 Outstanding college and one of the most successful colleges in England - performing in the top 3% five years running, B&FC for Business offers employers the highest industry-standard teaching and training across a wide range of technical and professional industries.

This enables it to react to the differing needs of the 1,800 businesses and public sector organisations with which it works by designing bespoke programmes that precisely meet their needs and that can be delivered in ways that are adaptable to their operational circumstances.

Take Blackpool Transport as an example. Analysis carried out jointly with advisers from the B&FC for Business team identified that improving the level of middle management skills would have the most immediate impact on the company's performance. A programme was developed that currently sees 45 employees undertaking courses in leadership and management.

An Ofsted Grade 1 Outstanding college, performing in the top 3% five years running,

The company's managing director, Jane Cole, sees this as a vital element in further developing the business. "This investment in our people of the future is so exciting and a real milestone on our journey first-class local to provide transport network with well-trained and highly-skilled staff members. Blackpool and The Fylde College has provided huge amount of support and I'm delighted to be able to work with such a fantastic centre of learning.

Claire Lee, who heads up B&FC for Business says: "We've tailor-made these programmes to precisely meet the needs of Blackpool Transport. We've moulded both of the management courses around the company's values and vision and we've set project work specifically based on real-life jobs that the students encounter on a daily basis. As a result the partnership is delivering clearly measurable and positive outcomes in terms of business performance."

Not all companies working with B&FC for Business are quite so locally based. The partnership forged just a year ago with Newcastle based Luxury Leisure, who operate nationwide, now has 80 of its employees engaged in courses at Level 3 Team Leader/Supervisor, Level 4 Retail Manager, and Level 5 Operations/Departmental Manager.

All of the knowledge is being delivered by monthly workshop sessions with delegates coming together in different parts of the country, including central London, Newcastle, Liverpool and at B&FC's University Centre in Blackpool. 

With over 1,200 employees at sites across the UK, the Gamestec Playnation Group is one of the UK's leading operators in the gaming and amusement sectors. It had a need for engineers to service and maintain the over 60,000 machines for which the company is responsible and it began working with B&FC for Business just a year ago to develop a strategy to meet this need impacting adversely on its without operating capability.

Currently they have 22 of their employees working towards an Engineering/Manufacturing EMTA Level 3. Because the company operates nationally, B&FC for Business is providing monthly workshops for students at co-located sites. The vast majority of workshops take place on a Friday as this is the day which Gamestec Playnation have the most engineers available making it easier for apprentices to attend the sessions.

Multi-million pound investments in our facilities and industry expert staff ensure that we can deliver training to the highest current industry standards.

Claire Lee says that these are just three examples of how the partnership approach is paying off, not only for the companies and organisations involved, but also for the people who are gaining valuable skills that improve their job performance and prospects.

"Our unequalled range of courses covers a broad range of business, commercial and public sector activities from health to project management and automotive to nuclear engineering. Multi-million pound investments in our facilities and industry expert staff ensure that we can deliver training to the highest current industry standards."

If you want to learn how B&FC for Business can contribute to your business success contact a member of the team on
T 01253 504 343
business@blackpool.ac.uk