Leeds College of Building joins local action to mark Colleges Week 2021

19 October 2021

Following on from the success of last year’s ‘Love Our Colleges’ campaign, Leeds College of Building is dedicating 18 – 22 October to Colleges Week 2021 and highlighting the incredible work colleges do.

During the national awareness campaign, Leeds College of Building will host its first face-to-face open event post-COVID19 on Thursday 21 October (5-7pm) at its North Street Campus. Students can meet the team, tour the workshops, speak to peers, learn more about the courses on offer, and see the resources and facilities available. The site is home to one of the largest Painting & Decorating training facilities in the UK.

As part of Colleges Week, Leeds College of Building also invites women over the age of 16 to sample Construction Crafts courses free of charge. The taster events are designed for those considering a career change or wanting to develop new skills.

Currently, women make up around 14% of construction industry professionals in the UK. Yet, according to the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB), it is estimated that the sector needs to recruit more than 217,000 new workers between now and 2025 to support its current activity. The issue is worsened by an ageing workforce, with 22% of the UK’s construction workforce aged over 50.

The College is inviting women to book free places on the taster days in Wall & Floor Tiling (27 October), Carpentry & Joinery (28 October), and Painting & Decorating (29 October). The female-only taster events will run at the College’s North Street Campus from 9.30am-2.30pm each day.

Nationally, events are taking place all week, with Thursday dedicated to taking action on climate change. With the government’s comprehensive spending review taking place imminently, Colleges Week is also a reminder to the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak that funding colleges, training, and skills is the catalyst for a stronger, fairer and more resilient society.

Derek Whitehead, Principal & CEO at Leeds College of Building, said:

Leeds College of Building is working hard to meet the growing construction education and training needs of students and employers, both regionally and nationally. Adults, 16-18-year-olds, Apprentices and Higher Education students make up the 6,000 students that attend the College each year.

“We aim to ensure that all our students are properly equipped with the skills they need and can make a difference in whatever career they choose to pursue. Colleges Week not only highlights the need for proper investment to make this happen but also showcases the amazing place Leeds College of Building is for students and staff, and helping to meet employers’ skills needs.

“This year’s week of action comes at a crucial time. The big contribution further education will make to the country’s economic rebuild must be recognised and long-term investment is vital if we are to combat long-term challenges like climate change and training workers for the jobs of the future.”

David Hughes, Chief Executive of the Association of Colleges, said:

Colleges Week showcases exactly why further education holds the answers to some of the biggest issues facing all of us. Now more than ever we need highly skilled and well-educated workforces to deliver the economic recovery this government aspires to. 

Colleges Week this year is about celebrating the amazing work colleges do, educating 2.2 million people every year, including more than 600,000 16 to 18-year-olds. They hold the key to reducing skills gaps, combatting inequality, and providing better opportunities to disadvantaged communities. This week is about making our voices heard and campaigning with partners to make sure colleges continue to be a serious political, economic and social priority.”