Who do we work with in our local community?
As the only general further education college in Chichester and the only land based campus in West Sussex at Brinsbury, we serve the City, rural and coastal areas. The coastal community of West Sussex is to the south and the rural community to the North. We make a very positive impact to our local area. We merged with Central Sussex College in August 2017 and became Chichester College Group and Worthing College joined the Group in March 2019. However each college within the Group still has as part of its core mission to be the College for the local community.
How do we meet local priorities?
Chichester and Brinsbury Colleges aims to meet the skills and employment priorities of a number of regional publicly funded organisations.
Coast to Capital (C2C) Local Enterprise Partnership was established following the closure of SEEDA, the regional development agency. Its geographic reach is to Epsom and Ewell to the North, the Gatwick Diamond to the North East and then South to Lewes and across to Chichester. It has eight objectives in its new 2018 Strategic Economic Plan. Priority 4 is to ‘create skills for the future’ and will focus on effective careers advice and guidance, data analysis on the skills needs for the area, encouraging the training of the adult workforce, prioritising digital skills, supporting the introduction of T Levels, brokering positive relations between education and industry and building a business case for capital investment in skills. Its Skills 360 Board has also laid out an action plan to address the skills challenges following the Covid-19 pandemic.
West Sussex County Council's skills priorities are linked to C2C through embedding enterprise skills and promoting growth through job creation. Through a level 3 Business course we offer an option for young entrepreneurs to learn the skills to build their own businesses. We have partnered the Chichester Chamber with the establishment of a Youth chamber in the City.
The Colleges provide support for the unemployed through courses and work experience at the Chichester Campus. In addition there is a country wide initiative to help families who have suffered worklessness over a number of years and the College is working with the West Sussex County Council in this area.
Enterprise and Skills is a key priority for Coastal West Sussex and the Chichester College Group leads the skills and enterprise group and has worked hard to share practice and gain business input.
Contribution to the local economy
We provide employment to over 1,100 staff and attract 14,000 students annually. We have two halls of residence and 1,500 international students stay with us each year although our international business has been severely curtailed due to Covid-19. The boost to the local economy is significant.
Supporting the charity sector
In 2018/19 we raised £35,000 for international, national and local charities including St Wilfred's Hospice, Genes for Jeans, Children In Need, the Brain Tumour Trust, Sussex Air Ambulance, Stonepillow, St Wilfrid’s Hospice, Breast Cancer Care, Snowdrop Trust, Marie Curie, Alzheimer Society, Chestnut Tree Hospice and West Sussex Cancer Trust.
Fundraising and volunteering
The College has now raised £88,000 to build a school in Nakuru, Kenya. This was opened in the summer of 2017. 40 students and staff a year fund themselves to go and volunteer at a number of projects in Nakuru although this trip had to be cancelled due to Covid-19.
Our students support a number of businesses and charities through volunteering and running fund raising events. Examples from 2019/20 include:
Sports students running twice weekly physical education sessions to local junior schools, schools olympiad competitions held at the University of Chichester and Netball for fun events held at the Regis School during the holidays. Students from Public Services supported a volunteer beach clean.
Health & Social Care students have attended ‘Bridging the Generation’ sessions supported by the local Rotary Club where older lonely people are treated to tea, biscuits and chat. They have also completed work placements in children’s nurseries and local care homes.
Several of our staff supported the Aldingbourne Trust during the lockdown.
Creative & Media students worked at Pallant House providing products to attract a younger audience. They also made a film for Stonepillow, the local homeless charity and edited films for various College virtual events. Graphics & Photography students have exhibited in the local Oxmarket Gallery and collaborated with Southampton Solen University’s student magazine. Production Arts students helped to run the ‘Concert in the Park for Chichester Festival Theatre. Dance student performed at the Alexander Theatre and ran workshops with Chichester High School and Theatre Inc performed at the Graylingwell Community Centre, the Cathedral and a socially distanced ‘Al Fresco performance.
College students teamed up with local police to challenge cyber crime and develop and education programme to teach young people about the dangers of this.
Foundation students designed and planted a new centre piece for the Swanfield Park Community Garden
Construction staff and students have worked with Building Heroes to train military veterans to support employment in the building trade.
Hospitality, Hair and Beauty students worked at St Richard’s Hospital to raise awareness of stress, supported people with cancer through massage and provided a fantastic venue for many community group meals and special occasions. It hosted a number of local apprentices and their employers to celebrate national apprentice week.
Brinsbury students and staff were unable to support local agriculture shows which were cancelled due to lockdown. However they worked with a local social enterprise, Breathing Spaces to help create and maintain gardens for the benefit of communities. The animals at Brinsbury benefited from local residents disposing unwanted Christmas Trees which added variety to their diet and enrichment to their homes. The Brinsbury Farm continued to produce 5,000 litres of milk each day and worked with the local National Farmers’ Union to organise a walk and barbecue.
Business students supported a number of local businesses with individual projects.
During lockdown, College staff and students raised £4,000 for the local foodbanks. Engineering staff developed some vizors using our 3D printers which were suitable for local GP surgeries at a time when these were in very short supply. A team of staff and students worked with a local business to sew and distribute scrubs for St Richard’s Hospital.
Chichester and Brinsbury colleges also provide substantial facilities which are used by the local community including the car park where the annual Chichester Half Marathon starts and finishes. The sports facilities in Chichester are home to Chichester Runners and the Chichester Hockey Club. The astro pitch is used by a number of sports organisations for football. Normally the College would host the annual triathlon and a number of other competitions but these were cancelled due to Covid.
Links to parents, schools and industry
Parents and families are integral to the continuing success of our students. We therefore involve them in many activities.
Parents' evenings are held each term for each curriculum area. In some areas these are linked to activities and 'have a go'. Parents are also invited to student shows in fashion, art, dance, musical theatre, motorbike, hair & beauty, hospitality and sport.
Links to local schools
Chichester College works with local schools across the region. It runs a provision for those who have been excluded or on the verge of exclusion from school aged 14 and 15 and also provides vocational provision one day a week for over 200 children. Our Chief Executive is Chair of Governors of a local 11-16 school.
Links to local industry
We have links to many of our local industries. Rolls Royce Motor Cars sends apprentice leatherworkers and furniture makers to learn how to work with wood and upholstery. We have 2,500 apprentices and also strong links through courses delivered in the workplace at St Richard's Hospital NHS Trust and local councils.
Our outstanding provision in furniture making is boosting local industry through providing highly skilled employees. As a result, the local bespoke furniture making business is booming whilst their employees are the stars of WorldSkills competitions. In July 2015 Edward Harringman, a Chichester College apprentice won Gold at the WorldSkills Championships. This was the second World Skills competition in a row at which a Chichester College student has won Gold. In 2017 Christian Notley MBE, Head of Furniture Making was named World Expert again at the 2019 World Skills competition for cabinet making. A Chichester College student, Owen Aldous, was the UK’s competitor in this discipline in Russia 2019 and the College has two students (out of three) in the squad for the 2021 international competition.
Who comes to our college?
Chichester College tries to ensure that it reflects the make-up of the local population and this can be seen by comparing the local population statistics to those of the College.
Graph of Students by Gender, compared to the population of West Sussex:
Graph of Students' Ethnicity compared with Chichester District:
Graph of Students with declared disabilities including learning difficulties (24%), compared with the West Sussex average (less than 10%):
Graph of Staff by gender compared with West Sussex population showing a higher than County average of women rather than men:
Graph of ethnic mix of Staff compared to the Chichester District:
Graph of Staff with a declared disability compared with the West Sussex population:
The College spent £150,000 on Staff Development in the last financial year. It also invested in five development days for all staff focusing on improving teaching and learning and business processes.
Staff at Chichester and Brinsbury Colleges are surveyed annually and asked a range of different questions. Some key responses were:
- 97% are proud to be an employee of Chichester College
- 94% would recommend the College as an employer
- 98% believe that equality, diversity and inclusion are embedded in the College.
The sickness absence rate for College staff has continued to fall over the past few years. Last year 3.2 days were lost per employee, compared to 5.9 days which is the national average calculated by CIPD.
Disability Confident Employer
The College has been awarded a certificate as a Disability Confident employer. This guarantees staff who declare a disability an interview if they meet the essential criteria. 11 out of 140 offers across the Group made last year were to people who disclosed a disability.