Report Segment: Otley College
Philip Winfield is the Principal of Otley College. He sees the aspirant merger with Easton College as an excellent way forward and this is endorsed by employers who have been consulted in this report.
Otley College currently has a diverse employer engagement base spanning farming, horticulture, hospitality and many other sectors. The college also has a reputation for business management courses and has recent experience in delivering Business Improvement Techniques (BIT), to local companies. Philip admits that FE is not generally good at customer relationship management, owing to their commitments to full-time mainstream provision. However he believes the merger with Easton College will lead to a more responsive, cohesive and effective engagement with employers, and provide a sound marketing platform for employer based skills provision. The fact that Easton College will be able to provide residential courses means that recruitment can come from further afield than Suffolk and Norfolk.
Otley College has invested in specialist food product development facilities and Philip believes that this could be an asset for the merger, possibly leading to more food based apprenticeships. The advantage of having a laboratory on site at college is that students can experiment with product development without needing to be in on company premises.