Colchester has a working age population of 122,000 talented, experienced and educated people. Being a major centre the town also draws a workforce from neighbouring authorities in North Essex and South Suffolk. However, the town’s proximity to London also means that Colchester is an established commuter base, an issue which the Council is keen to address through inward investment activity.
As well as their annual Graduate talent pool, the University of Essex’s Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs) support businesses to improve their competitiveness, productivity and performance by accessing knowledge and expertise available on campus.
In fact, the University of Essex is in the top 5 Universities in the UK for business engagement and was recently voted ‘University of the Year’ in The Times Higher Education Awards 2018.
With more than 130 countries represented at the University of Essex’s strength Colchester’s diverse labour pool continues to grow, offering many multilingual capabilities that add global value to businesses at a realistic cost.
Colchester is well positioned to retain more local talent with a range of high-quality education options which nurture an abundance of forward-thinking minds and refreshing outlooks to help businesses in the City grow and prosper.
The City has 63 primary schools, 10 secondary schools, the Colchester Institute as the Further Education College, the Colchester Sixth Form College as well as the University of Essex.
Two of Colchester’s secondary schools, The Colchester County High School for Girls and the Colchester Royal Grammar School, are both in the top 10 Nationally for GSCE results.
The Mercury Theatre is working with the Colchester Institute to offer a Degree in Technical Theatre, including lighting, sound, stage management and scenic construction to address a skills gap caused by the increasing popularity of Festivals.
STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) strength is coming through with the recent opening of the new £10m South Wing STEM Centre at the Colchester Institute’s Colchester Campus which will enable hundreds more adults and young people to prepare for careers in construction, science and engineering. This centre was joined in 2017 by a new £10m STEM teaching centre planned at the University of Essex.
Beyond the formal education route Colchester continues its skills development on a range of fronts.
The Edge Hotel School at the Wivenhoe House Hotel is the country’s only hotel school set in a 4* operational hotel offering a fast-track Hotel Management Degree.
The Eastern Enterprise Hub is the leading provider of entrepreneurial support in the East of England. Supportive of would-be entrepreneurs across the piece, the EEH also runs the Games Hub in association with Shark Infested Custard and the University of Essex.
Colchester also has a noticeable trend in uptake of science and maths courses post age 16 and also in apprenticeships.
Compared to Essex and Great Britain, Colchester City had a notably higher skilled population with almost 80% of the working age population holding an NVQ2 or above equivalent qualification and a much lower share of the population with no qualifications at all.
Essex Employment & Skills Board has produced this District Profile for Colchester (July 2017) providing an at-a-glance digest to aid business planning.
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