Burnley College leader to join prestigious industry body CBI

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Ties to businesses are set to strengthen for one of Britain’s leading colleges, after a senior staff member was invited to join a national industry forum.

Burnley College Assistant Principal Neil Burrows, who leads on Apprenticeships, Employer Engagement and Adult Skills at Burnley College, has been invited to join the Confederation of British Industry.

Neil will work alongside the prestigious CBI North West Council to strengthen the already existing links top-rated Burnley College has with local businesses, as well as to open further links with industry.

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He has been invited to share ideas that will help shape the future of British industry, promoting the college, and most importantly bring their lauded apprenticeship training programmes, delivered through Themis at Burnley Collrege, to the fore.

Neil Burrows of Burnley CollegeNeil Burrows of Burnley College
Neil Burrows of Burnley College

With his breadth of knowledge in training and skills development, Neil is keen to give Burnley College and the education sector a voice within this powerful forum of industry leaders.

Neil, who has been at the college since 2016, recognises the innovation, forward thinking and relevant work of the CBI and says that the association with this esteemed body will provide great benefits to the College.

He said: “It’s a real privilege to be asked to join the CBI but more importantly, this connection will allow the College to identify more skills gaps and offer a fantastic platform to share ideas with those at the heart of industry in our region.

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“The post-pandemic recovery is a focal point for the region and discussing how best to implement innovative solutions will benefit us all.

“We will be discussing growth strategies as well as recruiting, upskilling and diversifying, to make sure we are right on track to provide the best education to equip learners with the skills they need to succeed in business.

“In Lancashire, manufacturing is in our DNA, so we are perfectly positioned to be the conduit between training and industry.”

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During his time at the college, Neil has been the instrumental driving force behind their highly successful Themis apprenticeship programmes.

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Burnley College has made 2022 the Year of the Themis Apprentice, and their latest careers event brought in 35 employers from across the region to meet 400 young people and their parents.

With almost 1,000 learners currently going through apprenticeships at the college, ties with business are vital, and Neil hopes his appointment to the CBI will serve as a boon to all current and future apprentices.

Karen Buchanan, Principal of Burnley College and Chief Executive of Themis said: “We are delighted that Neil has been invited onto the North West Regional Council of the CBI, the country’s most prestigious business organisation.

“It is a testament to Neil and the college team, who work closely with companies of all sizes and sectors in our commitment to ensure all our learners receive the very best teaching, training and opportunities.”

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The CBI’s North West Regional Council is made up of some of the most successful global organisations including HSBC, Sellafield, KPMG and Siemens.

CBI North West regional director Damian Waters said: “I am delighted to welcome Neil to the CBI North West Council.

“He brings an impressive level of knowledge of not only the FE sector, but also of engagement with local business, and the opportunities and challenges facing young people.”

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