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Central College and ncn merge to become Nottingham College

Published on: 08/06/2017 (8:35AM)

Central College Nottingham and New College Nottingham have today (8 June 2017) merged to create Nottingham College – set to be one of the largest colleges in the country.

The two colleges share an ambition to transform the career prospects of the city’s young school leavers and adult learners. Thursday 8th June marks a milestone in an ongoing journey towards establishing Nottingham College as a national pioneer in technical skills delivery through apprenticeships and post-16 and adult education.

Nottingham College Pr 6

CEO John van de Laarschot with a group of staff and students.

Nottingham College CEO John van de Laarschot says:

Today we begin a radical transformation of post-16 education in Nottingham. We have a unique opportunity to bring students and employers into a single, dynamic learning environment and I want to encourage employers, partners, parents and students to join us as we design a new and very different kind of College.

We are redefining the relationship that exists between education and work – shaping the college around the needs of employers to equip our students with the employability and technical skills to be successful in the workplace. We’ve already entered into discussions with representatives of local and national employers to make sure that the Nottingham College curriculum is designed around their needs for a sustainable and skilled workforce and we will continue to prioritise investment in areas of our business which support the region’s economic growth plans.

- John van de Laarschot, Nottingham College CEO

Carole Thorogood, Designate Chair of Nottingham College says:

I wish to publicly acknowledge the contribution of colleagues and partner organisations who have worked tirelessly to bring this merger over the line. The guidance of the Education and Skills Funding Agency, and the partnerships forged with the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership, Barclay’s Bank and Nottingham City Council have been invaluable. But the really exciting work starts now.

Nottingham College is being built on the very best that Central and ncn have to offer and I want to thank Board members, staff, students and partners for their unwavering commitment to moving forward as one team. I am confident that our ultimate ambition to create one of the best colleges in the country is now underway.

- Carole Thorogood, Designate Chair of Nottingham College
Nottingham College Merger Signing 5

Michael Wisher and Carole Thorogood signing the agreement

The legal merger announcement comes after months of complex planning. With an estimated annual turnover of over £80m, Nottingham College expects to employ 1,500 staff and support up to 40,000 full and part-time students into employment, higher-level Apprenticeships or degree courses.

James Carver, 17, from Clifton is a Student Union officer and currently on the Level 3 Public Services course at Central College. He adds:

I believe the merger is a fantastic opportunity for me and all the students at the former Central and ncn colleges to gain the knowledge and experience we need to progress into the world of work.

- James Carver, Student Union officer and currently on the Level 3 Public Services course at Central College

Nottingham College Board of Governors is made up of four members from each of the two pre-merger Boards, plus three independent members along with staff and student governors. The members bring a wide range of skills and experience to the governance of the new organisation, and will work closely with CEO John van de Laarschot to underpin the strategic leadership of the College.  

The agreement to merge ncn and Central colleges followed extensive public consultation last year, as well as subsequent discussions with staff, students, employers and the unions. Nottingham College is now in a strong position to influence and respond to policy changes around Apprenticeships, technical qualifications, employer ownership of skills, and the Government’s Industrial Strategy.