Creative students from Sandwell College will now have the chance to work with esteemed industry experts including BBC Music Introducing and the Welsh National Opera, thanks to a new partnership between the college and the National Skills Academy – a network lead by Creative & Cultural Skills.

The vocational college is now the Midlands’ first Leadership College for Creative & Cultural Skills’ network of FE colleges. Recognised for its extensive performing arts department, Sandwell College will now be involved in a wide range of activity as part of the new partnership, including taking part in a challenge to design a set for the touring Welsh National Opera.

The National Skills Academy is made up of Further Education colleges across the UK and alongside the hands-on creative campaigns, students and staff will be able to call upon a wide network of employers and professionals, bolstering the work-based learning on offer in cultural departments.

Those students who get involved with the projects offered through the partnership will also gain invaluable experience to put on their CVs, improving their chances of securing employment or progressing in their education in a highly competitive industry.

Michelle King, Head of Creative Industries at Sandwell College, said: “The Midlands has a thriving arts scene and with over 500 students studying creative courses here at Sandwell, the partnership with the NSA will provide fantastic opportunities during their studies.

“Working with award winning, national companies will give our students an unrivalled experience and a boost in their hands-on experience as they enter the working world.”

Robert West, programme director at Creative & Cultural Skills, said: “Sandwell College has an amazing reputation for creative and cultural studies, and it will be a huge boost to the NSA having it as a Leadership College.

“The cultural sector in the Midlands has been growing significantly in recent years and we are thrilled to have the winners of this year’s Education Awards FE College of the Year amongst our leadership group.”

The opportunities will be available to new students joining the college in September too. New programmes of work and collaborations are rolled out annually, with Sandwell College now taking a lead in strategic planning and training.

For more information on Sandwell College or to look at enrolment for 2020/21, visit and to find out more about the National Skills Academy Creative and Cultural visit


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