Associate feature: To boldly go
The likelihood of a global pandemic has been known for many years, fueled by globalisation, international travel, urbanisation and climate change. Despite this, it is difficult to comprehend that over a billion students worldwide were unable to go to school, to college, or to university since March this year.
For many of us, we are operating in an environment overflowing with uncertainty and unknowns. “Necessity is the mother of invention” became a reality for colleges across Scotland when we pivoted from face-to-face, on-campus and in-work delivery and operations, to a fully remote model.
Scotland’s capital city now faces a hard path out of the impact that COVID-19 has had on individuals, businesses and institutions across our region - a region which has 13% of all of Scotland’s furloughed workers and where unemployment levels have grown exponentially, and are likely to continue to rise.
Between 2023 to 2030 the Edinburgh region workforce is forecast to grow at more than three times the rate of growth across Scotland as a whole. This reinforces the need to ensure a concerted effort and focus on reskilling, upskilling and providing meaningful and relevant interventions.
The ambition we have for Edinburgh College, and our region, has not been diminished by the challenges we now face. Edinburgh College is already on a journey which will reshape, redesign and reform what we do and how we do it to be future-proof, and in response to an environment that is changing at an exponential rate. Our College must continue on that journey with confidence but with a sharpened sense of urgency to ensure we are at the very heart of a skills-led economic recovery.
Audrey Cumberford MBE, Principal and Chief Executive Edinburgh College
This piece was sponsored by Edinburgh College.