Fantastic launch for Harrogate College Employers’ Network

29 October, 2021 10:20 am

Some of the district’s key businesses have signed up to Harrogate College Employers’ Network.

The college welcomed representatives from 25 organisations to the scheme’s launch event on Thursday 21 October.

The network is part of a drive to customise the college’s courses to meet the needs of local firms. It aims to use feedback from its members to shape the college’s curriculum and give companies what they require in terms of training, upskilling and skills – both for now and the future.

The network aligns with the government’s ambitions to ‘level up’ skills as outlined in the Skills and Post-16 Education Bill, which stresses the importance of ensuring education and training ‘meet the needs of employers’.

Big names including Techbuyer, Energy Oasis, UBU Care, Anchor, and Henshaws College were among the employers who attended the opening event to hear more about how they could help shape the curriculum.

Network members – who enjoyed a welcome reception and lunch at the launch, with dishes that had been prepared especially by the college’s cookery and hospitality students – receive a number of benefits, including:

  • Discounts on courses
  • Free advertising and promotion across the college’s media platforms and activities
  • Invitations to the college’s networking events
  • The chance to provide feedback on training and recruit students directly from courses they helped to design

Identifying and addressing skills gaps

Harrogate College’s Partnerships and Development Lead, Holly Hansen-Maughan, said: “It was fantastic to see these employers come together, sit in industry groups and give genuine feedback on their skill gaps.

“They also explained the upskilling that they need and how they want to move forward with the college.

“We had employers from the largest sectors in the Harrogate District taking part – care, hospitality, retail, technology and digital, construction and energy, finance, education and training. 

“It is brilliant to see employers engaged in the work to improve our students’ outcomes, our businesses’ workforces, and our district’s growth.

“The network will continue to grow and I would urge any businesses interested in joining to get in touch. Members receive multiple benefits in return for meeting twice a year, with others in their industries, to provide feedback to the college.”

Shaping an employer-led curriculum 

College Principal Danny Wild, who delivered a presentation at the launch, added: “This network represents another important stage in our drive to deliver a truly employer-led curriculum at Harrogate College.

“Such an approach, informed and shaped by our businesses and their needs, allows firms to fill gaps and run sustainably, thereby increasing their productivity.

“It also means our curriculum can stay relevant and provide the workforce required for innovation and business development.

“This in turn produces ‘work ready’ students who graduate with improved industrial knowledge, skills and behaviour.”

To join the Harrogate College Employers’ Network or find out more send an email to