Andy Forbes with Ian Pretty
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Colleges in Southern England win a place on DWP CAHERS Framework

A consortium of Collab Group colleges, including City of Bristol College has been successful in its application to be a supplier on the DWP Commercial agreement for the provision of employment and health services (CAHERS). The consortium was successful in winning a place on Tier 2 of Lot 4, which allows suppliers to bid for contracts with a maximum value of £11 millionin the Southern Englandregion.

Sheffield College is the lead college and joins Activate Learning, Bournemouth and Poole College, Bridgwater and Taunton College, City of Bristol College, Chichester College Group and Highbury College Portsmouth on the framework agreement.

The win provides a fantastic opportunity for the consortium to build on the work they are undertaking locally with Department for Work and Pensions and Job Centre Plus. By working together, colleges can provide a coordinated response to local labour market challenges, help people back into work, and facilitate a skills-led economic recovery.

Andy Forbes, Principal and Chief Executive, City of Bristol College said: “I’m very pleased that City of Bristol College is now able to play a full role in pursuing this opportunity as part of the Collab Group. We already have a great relationship with the DWP in Bristol and the South West and see this as a great way to further develop our partnership.”

Ian Pretty Chief Executive of Collab Group said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for Collab Group Colleges and the further education sector. Colleges are already doing fantastic work in their local areas to support people back into work. Inclusion on the framework allows colleges to expand their offerings and provide transformational support to individuals.

“Skills and training need to be at the heart of the response to the looming challenge of high levels of unemployment. The inclusion onto the CAHERS framework allows Collab Group colleges to build on the fantastic work they are already doing and help facilitate a skills-led economic recovery.”

Partners in Bristol (PiB), City of Bristol College’s training subsidiary, will deliver the contract on behalf of the College. PiB specialises in providing bespoke, cost-effective training solutions, online and onsite, developed directly to meet the needs of employers and individuals.

Through their collaborative working with DWP and other key organisations in the South West region, they are able to modify their training offer based on the latest job market needs, including those who have recently lost their employment as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

To find out more about the courses offered by PiB, visit its online learning portal.

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