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City College Plymouth is at the heart of its community and offers high quality provision developed to meet its unique and diverse needs.

The College operates from three locations across the city, with the majority of provision based at the main Kings Road site, with pre-employment programmes run from the Picquet site and higher education marine provision run out of the Centre or Higher Technical Innovation & Maritime Skills at the heart of the Ocean’s Gate Marine Enterprise location.

Locally, the College actively works in partnership with both Plymouth & Devon Local Authorities, sits within the Heart of the South West LEP, is part of the South West Institute of Technology, and as part of the Greater South West initiative. There are early discussions over Plymouth, Devon and Torbay Local Authorities forming a devolved Tier 2 Combined Authority.

Accountability Statement - Context & Place - City College Plymouth

Exploring Plymouth's Distinctive Benefits

There are multiple unique advantages the College gains from being located in Plymouth that provides our students with exceptional educational experiences.

With a growing population of 263,000, an economic output of £5.2 billion and 105,100 jobs, Plymouth is the most significant urban area on the South West peninsula. A further 100,000 people live within the city’s travel-to-work area. The city has aspirations of growing the population to 300,000 by 2034.

Plymouth is an ambitious city with huge growth potential and is undergoing exciting changes, with many more on the horizon and a strong pipeline of 10,000 construction jobs demonstrating the city’s growth potential and commitment.

As a centre of excellence for marine science and manufacturing, Plymouth has a unique set of competitive advantages on which to build upon in its transition to a more competitive and thriving knowledge based economy.

Home to the largest naval base in Western Europe, investments of over £1 billion have secured submarine and nuclear work for the next 70 years. We also have the highest concentration of manufacturing employment on the south coast of Britain with 12% of Plymouth’s jobs being in the manufacturing industry, far exceeding the 8.3% national average.

Plymouth also has a growing cluster of innovative life science companies utilising the area’s technology infrastructure, resulting in a healthy mix of established and emerging companies across medical device and diagnostics, biologics and biotech, contract research organisations and pharmaceuticals. University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust is the largest hospital trust in the South West Peninsula.

The digital economy in Plymouth is recognised as a key strength and forms one of the five key pillars within the Local Economic Strategy.

Accountability Statement - Plymouth Hoe - City College Plymouth

Shaping College Initiatives Through Local Challenges

Alongside the great aspects, Plymouth also has a number of challenges which focus and frame College activities.

We have a significant volume of job vacancies, with a further 8,000 new jobs forecast over the next decade alongside strong growth sectors and strong demand for high level skills, particularly in health and care, marine, defence, manufacturing and engineering, construction and the built environment. The significant skills gaps and shortages are particularly in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) sectors, which accounts for nearly 60% of all jobs in the city, with declining interest and take-up at Key Stage 4 in the education system.

Plymouth is ranked as the 64th most deprived local authority district in England (of 317 LAs). The summary measure places Plymouth within the 20% most deprived local authority districts in England. 13.2% of Plymouth residents (34,432) live in the 10% most income deprived areas nationally. Of these, two of the LSOAs are in the most deprived 1% for income nationally which relates to 4,119 residents. Health and disability is a particular issue with 62,575 residents in the most deprived 10% for this measure covering 23.9% of the Plymouth population. Click here to view Plymouth’s Index of Multiple Deprivation from 2019.

Average full-time weekly earnings are £525 which is lower than the South West average by £12.50 per week and £46 per week lower than the national average. There is also a significant gender imbalance in the city with male weekly earnings in 2018 at £561 per week compared to female weekly earnings of £477 per week. Children in low-income families have increased from 12.9% in 2017 to 14.1% in 2020. This continuous upwards trend is also above the South West average (10.8% to 11.7%). Pupil absence reflects this trend. At 5.14% in 2019 is increasing and higher than regional and national comparisons. The Plymouth Report 2019 also highlighted that 18.6% of children are living in poverty accounting for 9,990 children with a majority of these within workless households. Educational attainment continues to be an issue for Plymouth, with a 5.2% deficit gap in the number of pupils achieving grade 5 or above in English and maths at Key Stage 4 in 2019. This gap grows to 7.5% for those identified as disadvantaged i.e. those who attract pupil premium funding.

In 2020/21 there were 6,900 students (13.7% of all school pupils) in Plymouth registered as having special educational needs and/or a disability as compared to 15.8% across the state-funded education system in England. Young people with experience of the care system There are currently 500 young people (aged 0 to 17 inclusive) in care, with 187 aged 14 to 17. There are a further 180 young people aged 18 to 20 and 82 aged 21 to 24. At 91 per 10,000 children, Plymouth has more looked after children than the South West (56) and England (67) average. This has risen from 78 per 10,000 in 2019, showing how the pandemic has impacted this target group.

There are over 700 young carers in Plymouth and one in three of these young people are likely to experience educational difficulties or miss schooling.

In October 2022 there were in excess of 700 students (2%) of children missing out on education in the city. Seven out of ten children of secondary school age and three out of ten children of primary school age, of which two of five (in total) had received SEND support. As of October 2022 there were 190 children on reduced timetables (81 primary, 88 secondary, 21 SEND). The key reasons for missed education are behaviour, SEND and medical needs. Within this context of opportunities for the city and associated challenges identified above, the College plays a fundamental role in supporting the city in exceeding its aspirations. We do this through connecting our community, civic organisations and employers; delivering for our students through preparing them for the world of work and other positive destinations by developing skills, knowledge and behaviours which will improve students’ life chances.

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