Scotland’s College sector has so much to offer – and is one of the country’s best-kept secrets. Choosing to study at College is the best way to start, change or develop a new career right on your doorstep.

A total of 26 colleges - along with the College Development Network (CDN) and Colleges Scotland – have now come together with one voice, like so many other professional bodies have done during the COVID-19 pandemic, to tell the positive stories of how vital colleges are to the educational, economic and community health of the country.

By coming together in this collective effort, their aim is to show how dynamic colleges are and how easily they adapt to change. They have an excellent track record for success and want the sector to be a first choice when individuals - young and old – are looking to start their careers, or when businesses are looking to develop their workforce.

Building on their successful ‘Choose College’ campaign, their bold plans aim to utilise a range of channels to showcase the benefits and advantages of the sector including press, social media and radio to maximise their message reach. They also want to show how efficiently and competently the College sector has responded to COVID-19 by moving courses online and how local colleges – regularly award winning sources of local and national pride –will play a key role in Scotland’s economic recovery by supporting those who have been made redundant or are looking to retrain. 

As part of the nationwide campaign, CDN and the colleges involved have organised a series of recruitment events and targeted campaigns planned for 2021, coinciding with our first national College week planned from 25 – 29 January 2021 and a virtual open day planned for April 2021.

Jim Metcalfe, Chief Executive from CDN, said: “I am often amazed when I speak to parents, potential students and my peers in other industries, just how much they are unaware of the range of opportunities the college sector has to offer. We want to celebrate our success with everyone and raise awareness about our innovative approaches and expertise that have helped countless pupils, school leavers, career changers, career developers, employers, work ready graduates and apprentices to take the next steps in their journey. 

“We are on a mission to support local college recruitment activities and work with major employers across the country to get the message out to parents, grandparents, teachers, mature students and school pupils that a college course and qualification is on a par with other pathways – if not better, in some cases – to help them progress in their careers.”

Shona Struthers, Chief Executive of Colleges Scotland, said: “College continues to be the first choice for many people seeking to further their education or to retrain. This campaign rightly shines a light on the great work that colleges do day in, day out to equip people with new skills and qualifications that lead to careers and employment. 

Colleges are vitally important, not only to individuals and the communities in which they are situated, but to small, medium and large businesses throughout Scotland looking to upskill and retrain staff, helping to increase productivity and support the economy.”