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College focuses on enterprise agenda
A County Durham college is holding a conference on Friday where it will set out its crucial role in supporting the region’s economic recovery.
More than 250 members of staff and students at Bishop Auckland College will hear presentations from four young entrepreneurs, a council regeneration chief, an economic development expert and a Jobcentre Plus manager at the full day event.
The conference will centre on current economic conditions in the county, Government policy on economic development, and a range of strategies and initiatives targeted at promoting both employability and enterprise.
Principal Anne Isherwood, who will open the conference at the college’s Woodhouse Lane campus, said: “The vital importance of the college in matching the skills of the local workforce to meeting the emerging needs of employers in these difficult economic conditions cannot be overstated.
“One of our key strategic aims is to be the partner of choice with employers and to support social and economic recovery and regeneration and this conference is just one of a number of planned initiatives.”
Key speakers at the event include Andrew Hodgson, Vice Chair of the North East Local Enterprise Partnership and Chief Executive of SMD Ltd, economic development consultant and former Head of Learner Services at the Skills Funding Agency Ian Jones, Andy Palmer, Head of Planning, Policy and Performance, Regeneration and Economic Development at Durham County Council, and Annette Harrison, District External Relations Manager for Jobcentre Plus.
Students will also join staff and employers in a series of workshop breakout sessions during the day to help formulate future college policy on employability and enterprise.
The college is also hosting a business breakfast on Thursday where more than 80 local employers will receive a copy of a new guide highlighting all the latest training courses available, ranging from leadership and management to sales and customer service skills, IT, electrical, plumbing and renewable energy.
Speakers will include representatives from Dale and Valley Homes, Durham County Council and Exposure Publishing.
Brian Allen, Chair of the College Corporation, said: “We work in partnership with over 400 employers and benefits they have enjoyed include increased profitability, improved customer service and better quality of products and services. This is the third business breakfast we have hosted over the past year and the number of employers attending demonstrates the need for such networking events.”
Any businesses wishing to attend Thursday’s event, which runs from 8am to 10am, should contact Wendy Brown at wendy.brown@
The Short Course Guide for Employers can be downloaded free at
A photograph of Bishop Auckland College Principal Anne Isherwood is attached.