Birmingham Metropolitan College launches Career Colleges – a new concept in employer-led education

On Tuesday 24th May Birmingham Metropolitan College (BMet) will officially launch two Career Colleges, a new concept in employer-led education, giving students the real skills to secure great jobs.

The two colleges will provide specialist vocational education for 16-19 year olds in the Professional Services and the Digital and Creative sector, with leading employers in the region feeding directly into the curriculum.

Principal and Chief Executive of BMet, Andrew Cleaves, said:

“Ensuring that our young people leave college with the skills, experience and confidence that they will need in the workplace is at the heart of everything we do at BMet.  The launch of our two Career Colleges builds on the exceptional partnerships that we have already developed with employers, expanding on our Greater Birmingham Professional Services Academy, and enhancing our successful Digital and Creative offer. 

“Both the Professional Services, and Digital and Creative, have been identified by the Local Enterprise LEP as key growth sectors for the region.  Our Career Colleges will help to address the skills gap that firms are experiencing – directly supporting economic growth in the region – at the same time as providing our students with direct access to the world of work.”

Over the last year, BMet students have secured jobswith some of the city’s leading businesses including Wesleyan, GVA Bilfinger and LaSerUK.  Through its work with employers, BMet students have also helped to build New Street Station, secured a performing role with Matthew Bourne’s dance company, and successfully pitched for a 4-month exhibition at MAC.

The Career Colleges concept was launched by Lord Baker in 2013 to enable employers and colleges to work closely together to address the UK’s growing skills gaps. There is now a growing UK network with the curriculum of each Career College being designed by employers, for employment.

Lord Baker will be in Birmingham to launch BMet’s Career Colleges:

“I am delighted to see that the Career College network is continuing to grow. The two new Career Colleges here at BMET focus on two growing industries – Digital and Professional Services – both of which offer some very exciting career opportunities for young people.

“As my latest publication – the Digital Revolution – sets out, our economy is changing at an unprecedented pace. Every day, jobs are being lost in professions we used to regard as careers for life. Artificial intelligence, robots, 3D printing and driverless vehicles will impact on all sectors.

“This is why innovative, employer-led education is so vital. We need to ensure the next generation is equipped with the sort of skills that are both relevant and required in our changing world. Career Colleges provide this, and their focus on digital learning across a range of key industries will be of huge benefit to students.

 “I have no doubt that these two new Career Colleges will be extremely successful and wish BMetand itsstudents every future success.”

Speaking ahead of the launch event, CEO of the Career Colleges Trust, Ruth Gilbert, said:

“It is extremely exciting to see the launch of two new Career Colleges, here in Birmingham. From September this year, there will be 12 Career Colleges open around the country specialising in a range of industries from Hospitality to Construction.

“At a time when employers are so in need of well skilled, work ready young people, our education system needs to work with industry to ensure needs are being met. Career Colleges bring together employers and education to do just this.

“BMet has identified two sectors which will be growing exponentially over the next the few years.  Not only will these Career Colleges benefit 14-19 year olds in and around Birmingham, it will also help the local economy.”

The launch event will take place at 11am at Millennium Point on Tuesday 24th May.  During the launch Lord Baker will meet with BMet students who are engaged in ‘live’ employer-led projects, and host a round table lunch alongside Andrew Cleaves.



Notes to editors: 

Interviews with Lord Baker, Ruth Gilbert (CEO, Career Colleges Trust) and Andrew Cleaves (Principal, BMet) will be available between 11am – 12noon on Tuesday 24th May.

For more media information please contact Kirsty Mack on 07967375164 or at [email protected]


BMet College is one of the largest further education colleges in the UK, providing a wide range of education, training and apprenticeship courses across the West Midlands


We are made up four  colleges; James Watt College in Great Barr, Matthew Boulton College, central Birmingham, Stourbridge College and Sutton Coldfield College.  We also have education and training centres serving local communities in Erdington, Brierley Hill and Kidderminster.


We enrol around 25,000 students of all ages each year on a range of full, part time and higher education courses


We work with local employers and businesses as well global companies including BMW Group, Samsung, Caterpillar, IBM, Jaguar Land Rover and Network Rail to deliver training, apprenticeships and work experience/placement opportunities for students


Our Vision Statement is ‘Inspiring Futures, Realising Dreams’


Our sponsored secondary school, Harborne Academy, specialises in Science & Health

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