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16th September 2022

Partner Insight: Adult learning – key priority for NPTC Group of Colleges

Building a strong adult learning community is top of the agenda at NPTC Group of Colleges as it appoints a new Director of Partnerships to help grow its part-time and commercial provision.

Kathryn Dunstan is taking on the role after being seconded by Estyn as an Inspector for the post 16 sector and as the former Deputy Head of School for Business and Management she is no stranger to the College or education. Kathryn graduated with a degree in Economics from University of Essex and had a short spell working in banking in London before starting her teaching career – a career that spanned across further education; higher education; adult learning and secondary schools until she joined NPTC in 2002, teaching Economics and Management. Kathryn is also an examiner and subject reviser with WJEC and has a Masters in Education Leadership and Management from Bath University.

The role will provide strategic leadership and management of part-time education and will be key to delivering a growth plan for innovative delivery through collaborative work with external partners and colleagues across the College to meet the needs of all stakeholders.

The College covers a diverse area of Wales operating over a third of the landmass on four community colleges: Afan College, Brecon Beacons College, Neath College and Newtown College and smaller centres including: Pontardawe College; Maesteg Construction Centre and Swansea Construction Centre. It already works closely with community groups and stakeholders and the continued development of community links and engagement will be instrumental as part of the College’s Corporate Social Responsibility and delivering what the community needs.  This includes corporate volunteering and building a strong adult community learning provision as Wales seeks to recover from the COVID pandemic.

Kathryn will build on the work that has helped the College gain a reputation as being a market leader in many new areas of industry. The College is currently working with strategic partners looking to develop a shared delivery model and curriculum. Through its strategy, the College is working with several groups as a key Wales partner, in green/retrofit skills, drones, offsite and modern methods of construction, on a UK basis and feeding into Wales and UK Government panels, such as the Institute of Apprenticeships. With sustainability high on the agenda, and the traditional sectors merging, the role will be key to create and manage these new delivery alliances. Employer and wider stakeholder needs will continue to develop as equipment, materials and technology evolves.

Kathryn is looking forward to the challenge and said: “My priority for this role will be to support the Welsh Government’s right to lifelong learning by supporting adults taking their first tentative steps back into education, those wishing to enhance their career and life chances, and by working alongside employers to develop a skilled workforce to meet emerging economic priorities and raise productivity.

“NPTC Group of Colleges can achieve this through collaboration with partners across industry, local authorities, voluntary groups, and other training providers. I am looking forward to working with our partners to improve the wellbeing of the communities we serve and support economic regeneration.”

Catherine Lewis, Deputy Principal and Deputy CEO for the College said: “We are delighted that Kathryn will be joining us in this key role. Her experience will be an asset that will allow her to build on the work already in progress and to work with others across the College and with external partners. We are also retaining the services of Wyn Prichard, Director of Construction Skills and Business Strategy, on a consultancy basis. Through his work, we are involved in some key group projects which he will continue to manage.

“This new way of looking at partnerships and strategic projects, will put the College at the forefront of this work both in Wales and the UK, and provide the quality skills development demanded by industry and students alike.”

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