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Subcontracting Statement

City College Plymouth is committed to growing and diversifying the range of programmes and opportunities we deliver to widen participation, deliver to niche markets, engage in new and emerging markets and our contribution to skills needs. In order to achieve this, the College has taken the strategic decision to subcontract part of its provision to three key partner organisations who can demonstrate high quality delivery.

Subcontracted partners are expected to continuously meet the quality improvement and quality assurance standards set out by the College and ask that subcontractors are committed to supporting, developing and sharing good and excellent practice and continuous professional development of their people. Monitoring forms part of the College’s Quality Improvement and Assurance Strategy and Framework through quality and compliance reviews, operational meetings, observations of teaching, learning and assessment as well as seeking student, employer and partner feedback. 

Upon commencement of the subcontracting process, the College will consider the delivery rationale as part of due diligence ensuring subcontracting aligns with the key principles listed above. 

Each subcontractor that works with the College has a specific rationale for how its provision fits with the College’s vision and purpose and our eight Strategic Actions. This rationale forms part of the subcontractors and is reviewed by the College’s curriculum planning process and our corporation annually. 

In addition, all subcontracting must:

  • have undertaken and been approved by our due diligence process
  • fit with the College’s strategic direction and the local and regional skills need
  • be in the best interests of learners and employers
  • enhance the opportunities available to young people and adults
  • support filling gaps in niche or expert provision, or provide better access to training facilities
  • support better geographical access for learners
  • offer an entry point for disadvantaged groups
  • be inclusive of individuals who share protected characteristics
  • agree to work within the terms of our contract.

The College’s Subcontracting and Supply-chain Fees policies detail the services the College will provide when subcontracting to delivery subcontractors and how we determine the associated costs involved in doing so.

If you are interested in becoming one of our delivery partners, contact Nadia McCusker, Director of Quality Improvement – nmccusker@cityplym.ac.uk

ATL – Subcontracting Rationale 

City College Plymouth has worked in partnership with Achievement Training Ltd (ATL) for over 20 years and are confident in their ability to nurture vulnerable learners and those who have barriers to learning from previous negative experiences at school.

Delivery covers six occupational sector areas (S1 Adult’s & Children’s Care; SS3 Animal Care; S6 IT; S7 Beauty Therapy; S8 Sport; S15 Business), plus Functional Skills, GCSE maths & English and Employability Skills – some of which fill gaps within niche provision such as animal care. This ensures that a wide range of training options and potential future career paths are available to those in the local community who may otherwise be at risk of becoming NEET. 

16-19 study programme provision is available both at City College Plymouth and via other lead providers in the area. However, our relationship with Achievement Training Ltd, a subcontracting key provider, is in place as they offer provision distinct from the College offerings, which enhances the opportunities available to learners.

Achievement Training is specifically aimed at supporting a significant number of learners (in scope for this provision) that find the large formal college environment overwhelming or intimidating and are more likely to engage and thrive in a smaller setting, as such providing a different entry point which may better suit some disadvantaged groups and supporting individuals who share protected characteristics, where there might otherwise be gaps.

The College oversees Quality Improvement at ATL and works extremely closely with the Managing Director and her Deputy at ATL. The strength of the subcontracted provision is apparent in the success and progression of learners involved. Ultimately, the programmes delivered through subcontracting at ATL ensure that a wide range of training options and potential future career paths are available to those in the local community who may otherwise be at risk of becoming NEET. The provider offers provision distinct from the College offer and engages with those disadvantaged and NEET learners that would not engage in a college environment. 

Babcock – Subcontracting Rationale

City College Plymouth has worked in partnership with Babcock for over 12 years and are confident in their ability to support enhancing opportunities for learners across SSA 1 (Health, Public Service and Care) and SSA 4 (Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies) providing a range of bespoke Apprenticeship standards and pathways for students, both filling niche gaps such as nuclear and providing collaborative expert provision and access to training facilities which may otherwise be unavailable.

Engineering Programmes enhance the opportunities available to learners by providing a direct link for the full-time, first-year apprentices into their place of work, through ongoing support and links to future front-line managers. Due to the health and safety implications of a nuclear site, apprentices who would normally be working at their place of employment from day one, cannot do so in this case, and, therefore, having apprenticeship development managers who bring that intel and experience to the College is key to the success of this provision and provides students the ability to access niche opportunities by developing relevant skills, knowledge and behaviours to work within a specialist environment such as a nuclear site.

Nuclear Health Physics Programmes enable apprentices to access staff expertise that is niche due to the nature of working within a site that has to comply with British Standards and and Nuclear Acceptance Standards and the additional measures which must be undertaken to ensure safety and security. Working collaboratively with Babcock enables expert staff from Babcock to work within quality assurance and improvement expectations of an education provider.

In addition there is a known skills gap in this field and there is an ongoing need for newly trained Nuclear Health Physics Monitors who have direct access to a Nuclear site to complete their training with experts in the field. The Dockyard is a sensitive site that requires clearance to enter and some of the taught content includes coverage of sensitive information (namely – Nuclear Submarine reactors) – it is therefore beneficial for trainees to be on site to receive training involving this sensitive content. 

The College oversees Quality Improvement at Babcock and works extremely closely with them. The strength of the subcontracted provision is apparent in the success and progression of apprentices involved. Ultimately, the programmes delivered through subcontracting collaboratively with Babcock ensure that a wide range of training options and potential future career paths are available to those in the local community. The subcontracting agreement enables the offer of provision distinct from the College offer and engages with a number of those disadvantaged learners that would not otherwise engage within an Apprenticeship. 

Plymouth Argyle Community Trust – Subcontracting Rationale

City College Plymouth has worked in partnership with Plymouth Argyle Community Trust (PACT) for over five years and are confident in their ability to provide programmes that enhance opportunities available to learners.

16-19 study programme provision is available both at City College Plymouth and via other lead providers in the area. However, our relationship with PACT, a key provider, offers provision distinct from the College that enhances the opportunities available to learners.

For Plymouth Argyle Community Trust, this offers students the ability to participate in elite sports providing expert provision and better access to training facilities enabling learners to develop in both the sports and coaching aspects. The facilities and coaching received at the Trust provide a unique opportunity for these students to excel.

The College oversees Quality Improvement at PACT and works extremely closely with the community trust team and also with the delivery team at PACT. Our subcontracted students are overseen in the same way as all College students using the College’s continuous Quality Improvement strategy. Aligned with this we include the partner within our College internal feedback activities to provide the partner with benchmarking and support with survey creation, distribution and collection as well as reporting the outcomes. The partner is then included with the follow up activities to the survey.