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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.  Worthing College joined the Group in March 2019. 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 Brighton 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.  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.

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 Gatwick 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 2019/20 we raised £6,000 for international, national and local charities including St Catherine’s Hospice, Genes for Jeans, Children In Need, the Poppy Appeal, Save the Children, Sports Relief and Crawley Open House

Our students support a number of businesses and charities through volunteering and running fund raising events. Examples include:

  • Food and other items collected for Crawley Open House at Christmas and other times
  • Foundation students worked with cats protection, Doodley dogs, Macmillan and the food bank
  • One of its carpentry students was commissioned to carve an oak sign for a local resident.
  • Pupils from Oakwood School came into College to prepare and served a three-course meal for their parents and carers
  • Students showcased their work at the Hawth Theatre
  • Two groups of students coordinated collections of clothing,,food and toiletries from all areas of the college for Crawley Open House
  • The Crawley Museum Society benefited from a hand-crafted sign which will be on displace at the Ifield Water Mill
  • More than 5,000 secondary school pupils in Crawley received help in planning their next steps at a careers fair organised by Crawley Borough Council.
  • Students have contributed to a virtual STEM Sussex festival which will be on offer later in 2020
  • Staff and students normally travelled to Kenya to volunteer at the school built by funds raised by Chichester College over a number of years.Unfortunately, due to Covid-19 the trip had to be postponed.
  • Crawley College has worked closely with Crawley Borough Council and Gatwick Airport to support the unemployed following many business closures and retrenchment as a result of Covid-19.

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 cement its 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.   We also continue to support STEM Crawley although we were unable to host it this year in the College.

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 536 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 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 Crawley:

Graph of Staff with a declared disability compared with the West Sussex population:

Staff Satisfaction

A Staff Survey was introduced in 2017 following the merger with Chichester College.  It asks a range of different questions. Some key responses for 2020 were:

  • 98% are proud to be an employee of Crawley College
  • 94% would recommend the College as an employer
  • 98% believe that equality, diversity and inclusion are embedded in the College.

Staff Sickness

The sickness absence rate for College staff has continued to fall over the past few years. Last year 2.4 days were lost per employee, compared to 5.8 days according to the 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.