Fife College reached out to local businesses as part of a commitment to play a leading role in the economic recovery across the region.

Susan Dunsmuir, the College’s Chief Financial Officer, and Vice-Principal Dorothee Leslie led a Fife Chamber of Commerce event on Thursday (17 September) which highlighted how the College can support local businesses in their post-pandemic recoveries.

Part of the ‘Chamber Chat’ series, delivered by the Chamber and run in partnership with CeeD, the event brought together businesses from a range of sectors across Fife to discuss a number of topics with representatives from the College.  

Susan, who leads on the College’s employer engagement strategy, and Dorothee opened the event with an overview of the College and the plans in place to support businesses throughout the economic recovery. These include changes being made to the college offering which will maximise support such as the introduction of fast track and pre-apprenticeship courses.

Funding streams available for businesses were also highlighted during the presentation which was followed by four breakout calls on digital upskilling, leadership, engineering and health at work.

The event follows the recent publication of the Higgins Report which looked at what Scotland’s economy would look like after the pandemic, and called for an education-led recovery, stating that “As in the aftermath of 2008, colleges will need to be at the heart of the recovery effort.”

Vice-Principal of Fife College, Dorothee Leslie, said:

“The economic situation created by the Coronavirus pandemic has posed significant challenges to businesses of all sizes across the region, and many are in need of support at this tough time.

“With our emphasis on supporting business engagement and growth, on vocational and academic skills, and on community and lifelong learning, Fife College has an integral role to play in our economic and social recovery.

“The College is uniquely placed to react and adapt to the needs of our local economy in order to provide the skilled workforce that will be needed by employers in and around Fife.

“It is therefore vital, to ensure our learning offer remains aligned to the changing needs of industry, that we continue to collaborate closely with local businesses in settings such as the Chamber Chat event.

“We were delighted to lead the latest Chamber Chat, and to have the opportunity to hear from industry at what is a key point in the post-pandemic economic recovery.”

Alan Mitchell, Chief Executive of Fife Chamber of Commerce, said:

“The College is vital in Fife’s recovery from the pandemic and will play a crucial role in giving the Kingdom’s businesses the tools that they need to rebuild.  

“It is the skills of the workforce in those companies that will drive innovation, expansion and success, so it is critical that those companies tell Fife College what skills their workers need so that the College can design courses that deliver them.  

“Fife Chamber and CeeD are delighted that we have been able to encourage this dialogue through this event.”

Photograph: Susan Dunsmuir, Chief Financial Officer at Fife College, is pictured (left). Dorothee Leslie, Vice-Principal at Fife College, is pictured (right).