issue 05 SPRING 2014 The Newsletter of Ayrshire College A WORD FROM THE PRINCIPAL A lot has happened since the last edition, a particular highlight was the inaugural graduation ceremonies. I hope you enjoy reading about these and other exciting developments in this issue. enormous privilege to lead Ayrshire College as it serves the region’s people, communities and businesses. My ambition for Ayrshire College is for it to be the best in Scotland. Working in partnership with businesses and key stakeholders, we will provide opportunities for our students which meet demand in important industry sectors in Ayrshire and further afield.” In November, we were delighted to announce the appointment of respected local entrepreneurs and industry leaders Marie Macklin and Bill Costley to the Board of Management. Following a very busy five months, the Board started 2014 with a Strategy Day with the involvement of the chief executives of the three councils, representatives from the Scottish Funding Council, Scottish Government and JobCentre Plus, and a leading Ayrshire engineering employer. We now have all executive and senior managers in post and good progress has been made with phase 1 of organisational development. Heather Dunk, Principal, Ayrshire College Ayrshire College was designated as a regional college on 3 March and Willie Mackie was appointed as the regional chair by the Cabinet Secretary for Life Long Learning. Regional chairs have been appointed to ensure that each region has a strong voice as the colleges interact with employers, universities and each other. Regional chairs will also provide collective leadership to the sector in Scotland. Willie said, “I am delighted to accept this appointment as Chair of Ayrshire College, at what is a historic time for the college sector in Scotland. I have worked with colleges for a number of years and it is an We started 2014 with a visit on 31 January from Scottish Government ministers. Over 100 students, school pupils and staff attended a question and answer session with Education Secretary Michael Russell and two of his ministerial team, Angela Constance, Minister for Youth Employment and Aileen Campbell, Minister for Children and Young People. Students came prepared with questions ranging from the impact of welfare reform on students to revitalising Prestwick Airport. All three ministers were very open and enjoyed it so much that they plan to hold similar events across the country! In November 2013 we awarded the contract for our new £50m campus in Kilmarnock to the C3 Consortium. The building is due to open in early 2016 and is the largest single public sector investment the town has ever seen. As well as creating a world class learning environment, the new campus project will offer employment and training opportunities for our students. On 29 October we hosted a dinner at our campus in Kilmarnock for all members of the East, North and South Ayrshire Community Planning Partnerships to celebrate the launch of Ayrshire College and reaffirm the College’s commitment to helping them to achieve the objectives of the Single Outcome Agreements. Sixty people took part in a wonderful event where video testimonies demonstrated the important role the College plays in raising the aspirations of people and communities across Ayrshire. On 4 February, the refectory on the Ayr Campus was transformed into a spectacular setting to welcome 120 guests - including 70 employers - to a dinner to show how the College is supporting businesses. Just four days after she took part in the question and answer session at the College, Angela Constance returned to join us and deliver a keynote speech at the event.