A close up of two people shaking hands

Building productive partnerships at RNN Group

26 February 2024

At RNN Group, we are one team – A team where together everyone achieves more.

Working collaboratively with others is an important education priority for RNN Group. Over the last few years, we have made it our mission to develop strategic relationships with schools, employers and other organisations who align with our values and aims.

Together, we have created exceptional opportunities for people throughout their lives by continually leading and delivering on innovation and skills.

Our partnerships have enhanced our teaching, helped us to broaden access to higher education, improved students’ learning experiences, and changed lives of those who study at RNN Group.

Here we explore some of the partnerships we have at RNN Group.

Employer Academies

At RNN Group, we’re training and educating the future workforce. We aspire to equip our students with the vital workplace skills and industry knowledge they need to exceed in their chosen career pathway. One way we have improved the quality of our education is by developing employer academies.

This is a partnership between us and local businesses whereby they help design and deliver the curriculum in a relevant academic area. This ensures that students are developing sector-specific skills that businesses are looking for. It’s also a great way for students to learn from industry experts from the business community.

Companies sponsor an academy and then are able to take part in activities like workshops, mentoring, guest lectures, and placement or volunteering opportunities. Some employers choose to set projects, competitions or industry briefs for our students to work on.

As an employer academy, these businesses benefit from training and promotional opportunities through the work we do here at RNN Group. We can deliver training in things like GDPR, equality and diversity, and safeguarding.

We currently have a broad range of employer academies on board across industries such as health and beauty, education, construction, and sport and leisure. We proud to work in partnership with key businesses in the South Yorkshire and North Nottinghamshire region such as Nexus, Equans, Fly Me, Wentworth Woodhouse, Europa Engineering, Rotherham Titans, and the Spa at Ye Olde Bell.

Find out more about our Employer Academies

Schools Partnership Programme

Schools are vitally important to the RNN Group. Each year, hundreds of local schoolchildren must decide what steps to take next. It’s a huge choice to make. But we want to empower school leavers to confidently choose a course and college that will help them achieve their full potential.

In February 2023, we launched our Schools Partnership Programme to give schoolchildren a better insight into what life as an RNN student is like.

We’ve partnered with a group of 14 schools from across Rotherham and North Nottinghamshire who get certain perks from being on board. Their students can have VIP tours, taster days, and golden ticket access to our open events.

Most importantly, year 11s are guaranteed a place at one of our three colleges: Rotherham College, North Notts College and Dearne Valley College (dependent on GCSE grade results).

Headteachers at our partner schools share our commitment to raising students’ awareness about the options for further and higher education in our area.

Find out more about our Schools Partnership Programme

South Yorkshire Colleges Partnership

Collaboration is key to securing regional growth. That’s why we’ve partnered with seven other further education providers from the Sheffield City Region to create the South Yorkshire Colleges Partnership.

The partnership aims to champion working together to share knowledge, experience and resources with the intertwined goals of boosting the local economy and creating more career opportunities for learners.

The current cohort of college groups involved in the South Yorkshire Colleges Partnership include Barnsley College, The Sheffield College, Chesterfield College, Northern College, and DN College Group. We deliver education and skills training to more than 66,000 learners with a combined annual turnover of £230,000,000, and links to 7,500 employers.

This collaboration yields an amazing cluster effect and coordinated behaviour that balances inclusivity and productivity with innovation and skills development. Just recently, the group signed a deal with Sheffield Hallam University who will become the official awarding partner of HTQs for the region thanks to £1.3million funding from the Government’s Higher Technical Education Skills Injection Fund.

Find out more about the South Yorkshire Colleges Partnership

Rotherham Together Partnership

RNN Group is proud to play a lead role in the local area, focusing on the needs of the SCR and D2N regions.

Since 2017, we have been a stakeholder in the Rotherham Together Partnership alongside other organisations like Rotherham Council, Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust, South Yorkshire Police, and private and voluntary organisations.

The aim of the Rotherham Together Partnership is to improve the quality of life for everyone in Rotherham. Over the years, the partnership has played a significant role in key developments like town centre housing, the new urgent and emergency care centre at Rotherham Hospital, better CCTV throughout the borough, and the opening on Gulliver’s Valley Resort theme park.

For us, one of the proudest moments was seeing our very own University Centre Rotherham (UCR) open in 2018. Finally having a dedicated higher education centre in Rotherham has created so many more opportunities for Rotherham people to develop their skills and education in their hometown.

We are also looking forward to seeing the new Forge Island development open its doors later this year. This will be yet another pull for students looking for leisure activities and employment opportunities while studying in Rotherham.

Categories: Blog