Summer traditions - tennis and exam results

Opening of university centre at Wakefield College. Picture by Scott Bairstow
Opening of university centre at Wakefield College. Picture by Scott Bairstow

This week heralds the beginning of a few summer traditions as Wimbledon starts and the exam results season gets underway.

The Year 6 children were the first up with their SATs results, which came out on Tuesday.

This year’s results reflect some great achievements from our primary schools and are testament to the very hard work of all the children and staff and the support of parents.

Well done and congratulations to you all!

Whilst SATs are unlikely to shape the future career choices of the 10 and 11 year-olds who took them, the A level and GCSE results which come out in August can have a huge impact on the future of our young people.

Last summer the district’s results for these exams were very good.

We know that many of our young people are leaving school with a strong education and exam results that will open up a whole host of opportunities for them.

But, for a long time, young people with ambitions to achieve higher-level qualifications have needed to study outside the district.

And 2017 marks the start of a new era where our young people now have the opportunity to study in Wakefield.

The new Advanced Skills and Innovation University Centre, which takes in its first ever students in September, will be a huge boost.

Not only will it provide higher-level provision to young adults across the district, it will support businesses, allowing them to access graduates and provide degree level training for their workforce.

This council has an ambitious vision for the young people of this district.

We want it to be a place where they can get employment with good wages, where they can maximise their potential with learning and training, and enjoy the benefits of a strong economy.

This will not only help young people, it will help our district flourish by having a greater proportion of residents with higher-level skills, which will drive forward economic growth to benefit everyone.

We know we can’t do this alone, the future success of this district relies on both the public and private sector.

This means that the relationships we develop with businesses, and education providers will be fundamental in achieving our aspirations.

Recent research shows that the district’s economy still has lower proportions of professional and managerial jobs and that we continue to be held back by the levels of education and skills.

That’s why we have created a new Employment and Skills Board to drive forward the partnership between the council and our key businesses in the technology, legal, creative and engineering fields, as well as crucial partners from vocational education.

If we want to attract and retain a greater number of graduates, then we need to focus on wider economic growth and job creation policies that support high-skilled knowledge jobs.

I believe our young people have already stepped up to the mark when it comes to ambition and high aspirations – and they have my assurance that this council will do everything it can to create an environment in which they can succeed.