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UEL launches East London Skills and Employment Federation

University Square Campus

A new federation is set to enable and support local people to access the social and economic benefits of graduate level employment opportunities being created in east London. 

The East London Skills and Employment Federation, launched on Monday 5 June at the University of East London’s (UEL) University Square Stratford campus, will work with local schools, colleges, employers and local authorities to understand and address the aspiration and employment challenges facing people in east London. 

Professor John J. Joughin, the UEL Vice-Chancellor said: “UEL is committed to playing a leading role in shaping the future workforce of east London.  “Our launch event today is the first of many opportunities to come together to develop ideas that address the challenges facing local people around access to graduate level employment."

The Department for Education’s ‘East and south-east London further education area review report’ highlighted that job opportunities associated with degree level qualifications are projected to increase substantially by 2036 while jobs associated with lower level qualifications are projected to decrease. 

A range of solutions will be developed by the federation to address this challenge. These will include developing education and employment pathways, knowledge and specialism sharing among federation members, and exploring how apprenticeships can bring businesses and federation members together to improve student employment.

Along with UEL, a number of colleges will join the federation as founding members. They are: Barking and Dagenham College, Newham College of Further Education, New City College, Havering College of Further Education, Havering Sixth Form College and Newham Sixth Form College (NewVIc). 

Senior management staff from federation member colleges attended the launch, which included a welcome address by Professor John J. Joughin, and an opening talk about the aims of the federation by Professor Nora Ann Colton, the UEL Deputy Vice-Chancellor.

A number of workshops were on offer, looking at best practice in student retention, apprenticeships, raising the aspirations of local people, and curriculum development. 

Eddie Playfair (pictured), principal of Newham Sixth Form College said: “What a brilliant start to our Federation! What a privilege to be in at the start of something so exciting: educators from different backgrounds getting together to discuss how to support students across East London to develop their knowledge, skills and employability.

"Our challenge now is to work together to create a really ambitious framework which can benefit everyone in our region.”

It is anticipated that the federation will expand to include more colleges, as well as schools, employers and businesses in the boroughs of Barking and Dagenham, Hackney, Havering, Newham, Redbridge, Thurrock, Tower Hamlets, and Waltham Forest.

Among the proposed benefits being considered by the founding members are progression pathways to selected UEL  degrees, preferential access to UEL’s guidance services, and some discounted professional development opportunities for staff.

Visit the federation's webpage.