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A joint report from the Open University and British Chambers of Commerce (2022) found that 72% of organisations say the skills shortage is causing increased workload on other staff, while 78% are seeing reduced output, profitability, or growth.

We want to know what challenges your businesses are facing due to the skills shortage and how we as the anchor organisation for skills can help!

Tell us what you need to succeed

The Big Skills Discovery Live

Thank you to everyone who joined us for The Big Skills Discovery Live – a two-hour live-streamed discussion on skills for the city. Further education expert and City College Chief Executive, Jackie Grubb, was joined by industry leaders and business representatives from across the region to discuss the city’s skills agenda.


Over the course of the podcast, guests heard from Adrian Bratt, Executive Director; General Counsel and External Affairs at Princess Yachts;  Fallon Hart, Corporate Social Responsibility Manager at Kier; Jamie E Smith, Executive Chairman at C-Learning. Managing Director of Aldermans, Karen Friendship, discussed the benefits of upskilling current staff, whilst Jackie talked with College staff member Tiffany Linzell about  the new initiative City College is implementing with regards to careers advice. Also taking part in the discussion was current student and Jacka Bakery manager, Carly Loughton, who talked about the value of soft skills and how essential these are for helping students to become ready for employment, whilst Pippa Jephcott,  Interim Head of Learning and Organisational Development at University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust, talked about the need to adapt skills to meet the demands on health and social care and how the sector can attract new talent. 


The Big Skills Discovery Live: Sections

Mind the Skills Gap
Chief Executive, Jackie Grubb, discusses the importance of funding for FE and calls for a strategic plan for lifelong learning.
Skills for the Maritime Sector
Jackie Grubb is joined by Adrian Bratt, Executive Director and General Counsel at Princess Yachts, to talk about meeting the skills needs of the maritime sector.
Skills for the Construction Sector
Fallon Hart, Corporate Social Responsibility Manager at the Kier Group, talks skills with Jackie Grubb.
Skills for the Health Sector
Pippa Jephcott, Interim Head of Learning and Organisational Development at University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust, joins Jackie Grubb.
Plymouth Manufacturers’ Group Chair and Aldermans Managing Director, Karen Friendship, talks about how upskilling is crucial for plugging the growing skills gap.
Digital Skills
C-Learning’s Jamie Smith discusses how accelerating technological advancements are changing how we work and how companies can benefit by keeping their focus on digital skills.
Soft Skills
Manager of Jacka Bakery and current higher education student Carly Loughton talks about the importance of soft skills in preparing students for employment.
My Career Journey
Tiffanie Linzell, Inspiring Futures Partnerships Officer at City College Plymouth, talks to Jackie Grubb about the ground-breaking project, My Career Journey.

Mind the Skills Gap


A shortage of skills in the UK is threatening a number of industries at a time when we should be focusing on generating growth. As Plymouth’s anchor organisation for skills, City College is responsible for developing the area’s current and future workforce. We see it as our civic duty and a privilege to support economic growth in the region, but we are reliant on how much the Government chooses to invest in skills. 


JOIN US – #MindTheSkillsGap

The Association of Colleges has been leading a campaign that brings together further education colleges across the country to call on the Government – ahead of the spring budget – to reverse what equates to 12 years of cuts for the further education sector. 


Colleges are ready to do their bit to overcome this skills shortage, but without additional investment in further education and skills, we will not be able to achieve this. Show your support for further education and call on the Government to ensure colleges receive the investment they need to drive growth.