Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

'Our Aim Is a Better Qualified Community' Dr Sujinder Sangha, Principal of Stockton Riverside College, Talks to MARIE TURBILL about the Evolving Role of Further Education

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

'Our Aim Is a Better Qualified Community' Dr Sujinder Sangha, Principal of Stockton Riverside College, Talks to MARIE TURBILL about the Evolving Role of Further Education

Article excerpt

Byline: MARIE TURBILL

DR Sujinder Sangha has his finger on the pulse when it comes to the issues affecting Teesside.

From keeping a keen eye on the local press, meeting with surrounding businesses to keeping up to date with community matters, he sees it all as part of the day job.

As principal of Stockton Riverside College (SRC) he says it's vital to work with the wider community.

"Colleges don't operate in a vacuum," he says. "They take into account what the students are looking for, what employers want and the needs of the community."

In doing so they can make sure their offering is relevant to the current and future climate, thus playing their part in helping the local economy and boosting employability. "We work alongside more than 35 employers of large organisations and that keeps us at the cutting edge of economic development," says Dr Sangha.

"By finding out what skillset employers need, particularly as the economy is changing and local employers are looking to develop growth, we can make sure our qualifications offer a custom made programme to meet employers' needs."

Dr Sangha says at SRC, which this year celebrates 10 years since its move to its riverside site, their aim is to be an integral part of the community. Passionate advocates of the area, they are keen to play their part in Teesside's future growth and success.

"Areas like Teesside are under-promoted to the outside world," says the principal. "Yet historically it has made a vital contribution to the globe.

"It's up to us to recapture that strength and feel confident there is a future for us."

At SRC they are doing their bit, reaching out to as many people as possible of all ages at every qualification level.

"We work with the local community, Stockton Borough Council and the voluntary sector to ensure we are able to provide initial further education through community based learning and are aware of cultural needs. …

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