FROM this August, North East Worcestershire (NEW) College and Worcester College of Technology will be formally amalgamated.

The decision, which was agreed by both organisations, will provide Worcestershire with a local solution to deliver high quality further and higher education and training.

In a joint statement from John Callaghan, principal of NEW College and Stuart Laverick, principal of Worcester College of Technology, the two colleges outlined the vision for the future.

The statement said: “This is an exciting time for all those involved at NEW College and Worcester College of Technology. The merger will provide greater opportunities for our students and will help raise aspirations and self confidence. It will significantly improve their employability prospects by providing greater work experience opportunities. The opportunity to further develop key partnerships within the local area will be enhanced.

"As a merged college, we will be able to provide high quality facilities and innovative virtual learning environments. Importantly, the merger will support the local economy by providing employers with access to relevant training skills. We have been in consultation with our stakeholders and we are grateful for their support.

"We will continue to work with all our partners to ensure that we are delivering relevant education and training throughout Worcestershire.”

While students returning to or enrolling at the colleges in September will not be affected by changes to provision, it is envisaged that future students in Worcestershire will benefit from increased progression opportunities and a wider range of provision, as the benefits of the merger take effect.