Career Colleges Trust 2nd Annual Conference

Career College representatives from all around the country came together on Tuesday 5th July for the Trust’s 2nd Annual Conference at The Grosvenor House Hotel in London.

This year’s theme focused on “Improving the transition from education to employment” with keynote speeches from former Education Secretary and Trustee, Lord Baker, Chairman Luke Johnson, Ian Jelley, Deputy Chief Executive of Fair Train, David Hughes, Managing Director of Signature Living and Daniel Godsall, Co-Founder of Womba


The event celebrated the work that has been taking place throughout the Career College network over the past two years. Along with all our open Career Colleges, prospective Career Colleges also joined the conference, to hear more about the Trust and the benefits of Career College provision for 14-19 year olds.

Lord Baker, founder of the Career Colleges Trust spoke about the Digital Revolution. He commented:  “In the Digital Revolution all our young people need a broad range of skills, attitudes and experiences, not just those fortunate to attend a Career College.  Yet this thinking is entirely absent from the core curriculum in mainstream schools.”

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Also speaking at the conference, Chairman of the Career Colleges Trust, Luke Johnson, highlighted that the digital economy may result in young people having a range of careers: “Tomorrow’s workers will need to be more technically literate – they must be willing to retrain to stay productive. Career Colleges signal to the world that they are industry specialists, and provide young people with relevant skills which are in short supply.”


Fair Train’s Ian Jelley talked to delegates about the importance of high quality work experience. He said: “Every student should have first-hand high quality experiences of the workplace to help their exploration of career opportunities, and expand their networks. Over half of employers report a lack of work experience and work readiness as an area of weakness among school leavers.”

Also addressing delegates was Signature Living’s David Hughes. He shared his experience of college leavers and the importance of working with employers to ensure young people are ready for the work place: Our commitment to future talent will never waiver and being amongst such a committed group of people is inspirational and certainly re-energizes our efforts. The Career College concept is an outstanding initiative for young people and will continue to prepare the next generation for a successful career.”

2015/16 has seen over 400 Career College students studying at seven Career Colleges around the country. Over 300 work placements have been undertaken and many more employer-led activities. In September, a further five Career Colleges will be opening, bringing the current total to 12. More are in the pipeline and the network is expected to grow further over the next few years.


CEO of the Career Colleges Trust, Ruth Gilbert, said: “It has been another exciting and productive year for the Trust. We are extremely grateful to our Career Colleges – tutors and students – for all the hard work they have put in and of course, the supportive employers, without whom we wouldn’t have been able to achieve what we have done.

“With a dozen Career Colleges in operation from September, our network is growing and we now cover a wide range of key industries. This will not only help young people achieve fulfilling careers, but will help employers address their growing skills gaps.

“Today’s conference has provided the Trust with a wonderful opportunity to hear more about the work being done by our colleges and also, the work being planned for next year and beyond.”

For more information about the Career Colleges Trust and the work it is doing, please see

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