Who do we work with in our local community?
As the only general further education college in Crawley, we serve the towns of Crawley, Horsham, East Grinsted and Haywards Heath as well as Gatwick Airport and the Manor Royal Business Park. We merged with Chichester College in August 2017 and became Chichester College Group. 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?
Crawley College 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 kills 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.
West Sussex County Council's skills priorities are linked to C2C through embedding enterprise skills and promoting growth through job creation.
The College provides support to young people post 16 and anyone wanting to re-skill and achieve improved employment opportunities.
The Manor Royal Business park is one of the largest industrial estates in the UK and Crawley College provides a bespoke training programme to meet the needs to the businesses located there.
We support and are fully aligned with Crawley Borough Council’s skills priorities and strategy. This includes Employ Crawley and a joint skills research project. We are also represented on the Gatiwck Diamond Inspire Group and their work in bringing together colleges & universities with employers.
Contribution to the local economy
We provide employment to over 400 staff and attract 4,000 students annually. We have an emerging international business, building on the market share which Chichester has been able to attract. The boost to the local economy is significant.
Supporting the charity sector
In 2017/18 we raised £6,000 for international, national and local charities including St Catherine’s Hospice, Genes for Jeans, Children In Need, Crawley Open House and Friends of Chernobyl
Students focused on the tragedy in Chernobyl and the continuing challenges for the young people living there. They raised £3,000 for this cause through a charity walk and Christmas and summer fairs.
Our students support a number of businesses and charities through volunteering and running fund raising events. Examples from 2017/18 include:
- Food and other items collected for Crawley Open House at Christmas
- The car park was opened for the Gatwick Half Marathon with funds going to St Catherine’s hospice
- Activities in Queens Square at the the Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths Crawley StemFest were run by students and staff
- Staff and students dressed up and raised money for Jeans for Genes and Children in Need.
- Staff and students travelled to Kenya to volunteer at the school built by funds raised by Chichester College over a number of years.
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 and activities including hospitality and hairdressing.
Links to local schools
Crawley College has worked hard to re-ignite links with local schools. As well as establishing practical activities including taster days, 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 50 children. Our Principal was Chair of the West Sussex Alternative Provision College during this year. We also continue to support STEM Crawley.
Links to local industry
We have developed links to many of our local industries and provided bespoke training on the Manor Royal Business Park. We have 561 apprentices and also strong links through courses delivered in the workplace at local councils.
Our aeronautical engineering department has developed further links with Boeing who have recently expanded in the area and has started to run apprenticeships for them. Crawley College students won Gold, Silver and Bronze in the regional Skill Weld competition and competed at the National Skills competition in Birmingham in welding and joinery. Other key employers include B & CE, Taylor Wimpey, Thales, Gatwick Airport and the Hilton Hotel.
Who comes to our college?
Crawley 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 Crawley:
Graph of Students with declared disabilities including learning difficulties (24%), compared with the West Sussex average (less than 10%):
Graph of ethnic mix of Staff compared to Crawley:
The College spent £100,000 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.
A Staff Survey was introduced in 2017 following the merger with Chichester College. It asks a range of different questions. Some key responses were:
- 97% identify with the College’s mission statement, ‘to change lives through learning’
- 88% are proud to be an employee of Crawley College
- 78% would recommend the College as an employer
- 91% 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 5.7 days were lost per employee, compared to 8.5 days which is the national average for the public sector.
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.