West Yorkshire Consortium of Colleges

Funded by the European Social Fund (ESF), the Reach Higher contract (£3.5m) strives to widen participation in higher level skills through a programme of activities. These are co-designed by employers that will attract and engage new participants onto higher level courses. This will enable more qualified individuals who can fill the skills gaps in employment in key sectors in the Leeds City Region.

The project is targeted specifically at individuals from HE cold spots, deprived areas and those with the potential to progress. Reach Higher will increase skill levels, encourage progression in employment and ultimately supporting economic growth within the Leeds City Region as a result of improved productivity.

Reach Higher is delivered alongside partner colleges, universities and private providers on three themes.

  • Conversion Programmes use sector knowledge and expertise to deliver an essential springboard for participants looking to take an alternative career path in sectors where there are prolific skills gaps. Delivering compilations of short courses at Level 3 and above that deliver specific technical skills in;
  • Internship Programmes will increase employment in SMEs as well as retaining skills in the region by bringing together hard working individuals with businesses who are looking for fresh talent. Designed to stimulate a transformative approach to changing tack on career paths; this scheme offers an internship lasting no more than six months that gives a substantial real-life, paid work experience of what can be achieved if they continue to study and progress into HE.
  • Widening Participation activities are designed to help remove the barriers to progressing into HE for those from most disadvantaged backgrounds.
  • Rail
  • Advanced Manufacturing
  • FinTech
  • Medical Technology
  • Chemicals
  • Film and TV Production

Project Impact

  • Increase skills levels to stimulate progression in employment
  • Increase the volume of individuals with technical and job-specific skills in subject areas relevant to the priority sectors of Leeds City Region
  • Amass the number of females progressing into Higher Education in Science, Technology, and Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects
  • Support individuals from the most disadvantaged backgrounds to participate in higher level education and training to progress into/in work.

Details of any WYCC commissions are advertised and managed through the In-tend website, where you must register to access the opportunities and to be considered for specialist delivery. Please note: The Selection Questionnaire (SQ) is currently under review. Please only complete the registration on Intend until further notice