Leading colleges launch ACT partnership to create new and exciting opportunities for students in the Humber region
With a £10m investment in new facilities, Wilberforce, Franklin and John Leggott Colleges have joined forces to create the Advance Colleges Trust (ACT) which aims to secure the best possible future for 16–19-year-olds in Hull, East Riding, North Lincs and the East Coast.
The three colleges will keep their independence, but will work more closely together to the advantage of their students, and staff. With over 5,000 students combined (around 40% of the region’s school leaver population), the Advance Colleges Trust is promising to give young people from all walks of life unparalleled opportunities that will lead to a bright and rewarding future.
With a strong focus on guiding students into their chosen development routes, be it university places, degree apprenticeships or professional pathways, the Advanced Colleges Trust (ACT) combines the resources of three successful sixth form colleges to enhance learning, widen the curriculum and provide outstanding support that gives students access to new and exciting global opportunities. The three colleges have been recognised as leaders in their field by the Department for Education, by Ofsted and are part of the Sunday Times Good Schools Guide 2021.
Strong partnerships with local universities and over 70 employer partners give students the opportunity for broad careers and progression provision, with a planned joint Careers Fair in March 2022 to enable students to meet local employers in a wide range of sectors. In the past year, over 1,000 students from the ACT colleges have gained university places, 800 have progressed directly into employment and higher and degree apprenticeships, and 300 into further study and training.
With the widest choice of A Levels, BTEC and CTEC Level 3 courses, T Levels and City and Guilds specialist courses in the region, and high-quality teaching and learning, the ACT offers young people the best possible start to their journey to the best, most rewarding careers possible.
Trevor Wray, ACT Development Lead said: “We’re thrilled to finally be able to launch the Advance Colleges Trust, we’re confident that the partnership is going to offer unrivalled opportunities for young people in the region and we’re excited to see what the future holds.
Combining our strengths, we have a real unique offering that enables our partners to give students a bigger and better choice of course, enhanced support, additional experience, and a wider range of enrichment opportunities.”
This year, the ACT are the only sixth form providers involved in an exciting project, funded by the Department for Education, to match the skills of our students with the emerging new green industries across the Humber region. The three colleges of the Advance Colleges Trust aim to raise awareness of green energy employment opportunities and pathways for 16–18-year-olds and to retain young people in the region to supply the skills pipeline needed for regeneration and future growth.
As part of the SDF project, each ACT colleges will have a new immersive learning space, which will allow a completely new, 360-degree virtual environment in which we can bring these new opportunities to life. In addition, the three colleges will be offering business incubator spaces for young entrepreneurs and will be working with local STEM employers to identify and fill skills shortages in the region.
Emma Swinburn Employer Engagement Manager from Franklin Sixth Form College commented: “We’ve got some really exciting projects in the pipeline that are all aimed at offering a wider range of opportunities for students and young entrepreneurs in the region. We’ll be working closely with the region’s biggest employers to identify what their skills needs are, working with them to create a bespoke employability course and will be supporting young entrepreneurs in developing their business ideas.”
Students interested in applying for any of the colleges in the ACT should visit the relevant websites: