Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Efficient delivery and great building blocks

It’s a turbulent time in many sectors in our society. Following years of austerity, demographic change and other changes, many businesses and other organisations have moved to working more closely with one another. In my view, that makes sense. I have, in other blogs, spoken about my belief in the value of synchronicity and also about the importance of partnership working.

So when there were discussions for East Kent College and Canterbury College to build closer links – initially with our higher education delivery – it seemed like a very sensible idea to me. That happened back at the beginning of 2016, and since then our partnership has grown. The two distinct colleges now share an executive team and certain elements of our corporate services, creating leaner, more effective and efficient organisations. This enables us to deliver more, with less.

Canterbury College
And delivering more for less is one of the best ways to operate. That’s true not just for our colleges but also for our students. Tough funding environments and changes may act as a catalyst to this type of change, but ultimately it’s what we should all be aiming for anyway. It doesn’t matter whether we work in further education, or in any other sector; always striving for greater efficiency makes sense. When you look at the most successful businesses – the Apple’s and Google’s of this world – you can see quite clearly they’re always working to deliver more efficient models, with the most relevant products.

But a rise in efficiency doesn’t mean there should be any compromise in standards. Quality is still one of the fundamental building blocks of success for any organisation. Without a high quality product, no business will ever really be as successful as it could be. And a high quality technical and vocational education is something we’re working hard to maintain – and grow – with this partnership.

The partnership – in essence – is attempting to create a high quality product coupled with an efficient delivery. If we’re able to generate that, we’ll be aping a very successful business model indeed. And that, in a nutshell, is what we’re aiming to achieve with this partnership.

The Broadstairs Campus of East Kent College
So what has it delivered so far? It’s already brought savings, created significant efficiencies, and has helped us ensure that quality is delivered to a raised benchmark standard. It has meant that we’re able to use scale to ensure that we can provide our students – whether from Canterbury College or East Kent College – with the highest quality education, and the best possible outcomes.

And the future of this partnership is even more exciting. Why? Because as we move forward, we’ll be able to do more work in this realm, continuing to boost our students’ opportunities and outcomes while retaining vibrant and distinct further education offerings across the whole of east Kent.

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