Praise for our life-changing Public Services department

Posted: September 19, 2023

“Keep up the great work!”

That was the message from West Yorkshire’s Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, Alison Lowe OBE, when we welcomed her to our Quarry Hill campus.

The visit was a prime opportunity to showcase the fantastic work of our Public Services department in preparing students, from all kinds of backgrounds, for rewarding careers in the uniformed services.

The deputy mayor heard about how our courses are transforming lives by opening up progression routes, often for students who are facing disadvantages, into the police, ambulance service, army and more.

She also took the time to drop in on some classes to chat to the students and staff about their goals and work.

Alison was welcomed by campus Principal Suzy Gallagher, Head of Public Services Tom Griffiths, Executive Principal Bill Jones and Interim Assistant Principal of the School of Social Science, Sheila Lucciarini.

Life-changing work that is boosting diversity

Suzy explained how important the work being carried out by the college, which is one of the largest providers of uniformed service courses in the country, was. She said: “We change lives, that’s what we do.

“There are around 10,000 young people in England and Wales on public service courses; here we’ve around 350 students and it’s really successful.”

Tom stressed how much our courses are focused on community policing, and how our contribution is helping make the police and other services more diverse – with 33% of our students coming from ethnically diverse communities.

The visit was also an opportunity for Suzy, Tom, Bill and Sheila to share their concerns about government plans to phase out public services courses as part of a wider switch to T Levels.

Bill told Alison: “We’ve currently got an amazing service that helps a lot of students who come from all parts of Leeds, including deprived parts and from non-traditional backgrounds, get into good, really worthwhile jobs.

“The government’s planning on turning off the funding for it before there’s an alternative in place, which would be terrible.”

The deputy mayor, thanking her hosts for the tour, agreed to look into the issue further.

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