CEC Principal joins pioneering UK Shipbuilding Skills Taskforce

Rachel Kitley, Principal of Cowes Enterprise College, has been confirmed as a member of the Government’s pioneering UK Shipbuilding Skills Taskforce.

Chaired by Captain Dr Paul Little – Principal and Chief Executive of City of Glasgow College – the Taskforce now has 20 members from across the shipbuilding sectors.

The Government hopes it will support the development and implementation of a ”future-focused skills strategy for shipbuilding”.

Kitley – who joined Cowes as Principal in 2017 – was successful in her application in part thanks to the school’s extensive Maritime Futures Curriculum, which weaves maritime content into students’ timetables through traditional curriculum subjects, as well as applying it to practical projects like boat building, sail design, and coastal management.

Cowes, which is sponsored by Ormiston Academies Trust (OAT), recently won the Maritime UK Award for Future Skills in recognition of this work, and hosted the Department for Education’s Permanent Secretary, Susan Acland-Hood, for a visit to discuss the scheme earlier in the year.

Alongside this, the school has developed a partnership with coastal schools in Grimsby, Ipswich and Merseyside, to share its experiences, while work is underway with Awarding Organisation Pearson to develop a Level 2 technical qualification for the sector.

Rachel Kitley, Principal of Cowes Enterprise College, said,

“I am hugely excited to begin this role within the Taskforce, on behalf of a school which takes enormous pride in its shipbuilding and maritime heritage.

“I hope to fully reflect Cowes’ work in championing maritime industries, and to share what we have learned while developing our award-winning Maritime Futures Curriculum and close links with local businesses.

“Above all, I want to help the Taskforce to create a strategy which underlines the exciting, varied and fascinating roles which are available in the sector and develop tangible ways in which we can inspire and support the shipbuilders of tomorrow.”

Rachel Kitley, Principal of Cowes Enterprise College
Cowes Enterprise College, An Ormiston Academy | An Ofsted good Provider
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