A consultation has been launched around the proposed merger of two colleges.
Northbrook College, Worthing, and Sussex and City College, Brighton & Hove, have announced plans to join together to form the Metropolitan College.
Describing the merger as “one of equals”, a spokesman said the new college would run under the leadership of a single board and executive team and will continue to run from the five current sites, in Worthing, Shoreham and Brighton.
The consultation started today (Monday October 17) and will end on Thursday November 17.
The planned date for the legal aspects of the merger to conclude is March 31 2017.
In a joint statement, Sue Dare, principal of Northbrook, and Nick Juba, CEO of City College, said: “This is all about establishing a college that can deliver for our students. A college that celebrates and promotes professional and vocational routes into work and higher education.
“We want our students to go on and do amazing things, to live fulfilling lives and follow rewarding careers.
“The Metropolitan College will offer clear routes right up the educational ladder providing opportunities for every young person or adults across the economic area of the City Region to gain the knowledge and skills they need to succeed.”
The spokesman said the new college would cater for around 3,500 16-18 year old students, 7,500 adults, 1,000 undergraduates and more than 800 apprentices – and would generate an income of around £40million.
A particular focus would be placed on apprenticeships and higher-level professional and technical skills.
The chairs of governors from both colleges said the Metropolitan College would be “the engine room of the local economy”, training the next generation of carpenters, coders, beauticians and digital artists.
In a joint statement, Ian Lowrie and Julie Nerney said: “We want to play our part in ensuring that businesses across the economic area of the City Region have access to the pipeline of talent they need to develop, grow and create wealth for all of our residents.
“We’re excited by the opportunity to strengthen the relationship between the two colleges and to work in collaboration with businesses, local authorities, politicians, educational providers and all of our local communities for the good of our students, apprentices and undergraduates.”
They added: “Now we need to hear your views so that we can ensure our proposals can be shaped by the needs of everyone in the economic area of the City Region.”
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