Thursday, 22 December 2016

The Christmas Pudding of Life, and Education as Flour

If life was a Christmas Pudding, then education would be the flour.

It’s not going to deliver a delicious festive treat all on its own, but combined with all the other ingredients, it becomes something meaningful and delicious.

The great Christmas Pudding of life

 An obscure thought, but one which I’d like to expand on briefly. I decided upon the analogy recently, when I was asked by the Dover Business Forum to help launch the new Future Skills for Dover report. You can see the report in full here, but at the time I recall thinking that while developing the necessary skills for an area’s future are deeply important, it takes more than just that to create a great place to live – a great community if you will.

So what are the other ingredients in this Christmas Pudding? There’s little doubt that they’re many and varied, but there are some key things which would go into it. In Dover’s case, many of these ingredients are already there – the infrastructure, for example, with strong transport links from the docks, and the M20. Housing too, is one of those big things, and Dover’s playing its part in developing for the future, with more housebuilding taking place there than any other district in Kent. Jobs are clearly an important part of the place-making pudding too. Dover’s economy is buoyant currently, with retail investment, and a number of large companies looking for further expansion. And then there are the social factors – the mix of people and their demographic segments, family units, political beliefs, and, of course education opportunities.

These different ingredients – alongside many others I’ve neglected to mention – bind to create our societies, and our communities. And it’s just these communities which our College seeks to improve – either through delivering the best, most relevant curriculum we can, or through developing all of our students in an holistic manner, to ensure they ‘buy in’ to their community.
STEM are key skills required in Dover's education mix right now

That’s the reason we took part in the Future Skills for Dover research; ensuring we are delivering the best possible curriculum, which meets the needs of the community, and local employers, makes what our College does – namely delivering education – more meaningful. It means that we are helping to develop the area’s community more, not just its peoples skills. It makes our brand of further education less one dimensional, helping to develop more than just an individual’s skillset.

And that’s essentially the mission for East Kent College; we are committed to developing the prosperity and well-being of the communities we serve.

So to return to my original analogy, in the great Christmas Pudding of life I firmly believe that education – and more specifically further education – has a key part to play. It’s about developing the place, not just the people, and delivering a great community. I’m glad that our College has the strong local partners, and the vision, to ensure that we’re doing all we can to achieve this in the future.

1 comment:

  1. I agree completely. On its own education doesn't run businesses but you won't get far without it.