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Kidderminster College announces partnership with training group
12:01pm Friday 13th December 2013 in News
KIDDERMINSTER College is in talks to join one of the largest education and training groups in the country as part of ambitious merger plans.
The college announced earlier this year that it was seeking a suitable partner to increase its local impact and is currently negotiating with NCG about merging with the organisation.
The group is made up of five divisions including Newcastle College, Newcastle Sixth Form College and West Lancashire College, Intraining Ltd based in Sheffield and Rathbone, a voluntary youth sector organisation and charity.
Kidderminster College hopes the move will strengthen its brand and help keep its local identity.
David Cory, chairman of governors, said: "We were very clear about what we were looking for and we tested all the proposals against a set of published criteria.
"The proposal from NCG showed that they absolutely share our vision of providing the best possible education and training for this area and we are delighted to be moving into detailed discussions about the future.”
The college said the merger would provide the "greatest security for staff and for increased investment in the college", which would continue to be led by principal Andy Dobson.
NCG already works across the Midlands and Kidderminster College would become a flagship for the group’s operations in the area.
The group, which has a nationwide network of colleges and training organisations, would invest in developing facilities in and around Kidderminster to improve the college’s ability to meet the needs of local people and businesses.
Mr Dobson said: “This is a really exciting time for the college and for Kidderminster. NCG has a fantastic reputation for quality and professionalism and becoming part of the group will strengthen the college enormously.
“We will continue to do all the things we are known for and we will have the resources and stability to develop new opportunities and address the needs and priorities that we cannot tackle alone.”
Joe Docherty, chief executive of NCG, said he was delighted the college wanted to join the group.
"We have a strong presence in the West Midlands and Kidderminster College will complement that ."
Wyre Forest MP, Mark Garnier, who is a governor of the college, also backed the plans, adding the news was exciting for learners and employers.
“The process of lifting Wyre Forest’s local economy has received a very significant boost by this announcement, which has my full support,” Mr Garnier added.
Kidderminster College and NCG will now move to detailed negotiations and jointly publish a formal public consultation document early in the new year, with a view to concluding the merger in time for the start of the 2014-15 college year.
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