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

On Tuesday 24th May Birmingham Metropolitan College (BMet) launched two Career Colleges, a new concept in employer-led education, giving students the real skills to secure great jobs, and directly addressing the region’s skills gap.

Birmingham Metropolitian College, Career Colleges photography at the Millennium Point Campus. Picture by Shaun Fellows / Shine Pix

Birmingham Metropolitian College, Career Colleges photography at the Millennium Point Campus. Picture by Shaun Fellows / Shine Pix

Speaking at the launch, Andrew Cleaves, Principal and Chief Executive of BMet said:

“The future of Further Education lies in colleges and employers working hand in hand to design new and exciting curriculum that meets the individual needs of the employer and provides our young people with the technical and professional skills they need to be successful in the workplace.

The launch of our Career Colleges is a significant first step in real employer-led education which will see the curriculum of each college being designed by employers, for employment.  Our 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; 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 Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP as key growth sectors for the region.  Our Career Colleges will address the skills gap that firms are experiencing; supporting economic growth in the region at the same time as providing our students with direct access to the world of work.”

At the launch, Lord Kenneth Baker, Founder and Chair of the Career Colleges Trust, met with BMet students who are already involved in working with some of Birmingham’s leading businesses and organisations including Deutsche Bank, Wesleyan and GVA Bilfinger.

Speaking to employers at the event, Lord Baker said:

“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 BMet and its students 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.”



Notes to editors: 


Photo: Andrew Cleaves (BMet Principal), Sharan Bhogal (BMet student), Lord Baker, Attiqa Farooq (BMet student), Hasnain Rauf (BMet student) and Fraz Nawaz (BMet student)

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

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.
Birmingham Metropolitan College (BMet)

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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