Why Choose Blackburn College

Blackburn College is one of the largest providers of higher education for a college in England and has been providing education and training for over 125 years.

We currently attract over 3,000 Higher Education students and are Number 1 in England for Apprenticeship success.*

Below you will find out lots more about the College including; our success, our work with employers and the positive impact we have in our local community          

Our success

  • 9 out of 10 students are in work or further study within 6 months - for the 4th year in a row!*
  • Number 1 in England for Apprenticeship Success**
  • 1 in 6 Honours graduates received a First Class Honours degree in 2016
  • Over 50% of Honours degree students gained a 2:1 or higher in 2016
  • 90% of Foundation Degree students were awarded a merit or distinction in July 2016 examinations
  • Almost 100% of PGCE (Education & Training) students were successful in 2016
  • The College works with over 3,000 employers including BAE Systems, Media City and Senator International 
  • QAA Quality Assured - recognised for employment-focused curriculum 
  • OFSTED rated Outstanding
  • 85% of degrees approved by Lancaster University - in the top 10 of universities in the UK 
  • £65 Million state-of-art Student Campus
  • 100% A level Pass Rate in 22 subject

*Destinations of Leavers of Higher Education (2011/12 - 2014/15), known outcomes
**Source: 2014 to 2015 SFA National success rates table: Aged 19-23 All Level Apprenticeship Achievement

Over £65 million has been invested in our unique, state of the art town centre campus, developed collaboratively with employers and stakeholders to future proof the curriculum.

We believe our student support package for school leavers is the best in Pennine Lancashire:

  • £Low cost Travel Pass
  • Free Essential Kit and Uniform
  • Free Breakfast and £1 Lunch
  • Employability skills and support
  • Guaranteed progression opportunities to University Centre at Blackburn College

Engaging with Employers

We work closely with employers from a range of sectors to be an indispensable partner in supporting the economic landscape of Pennine Lancashire and beyond.

We deliver specialist, bespoke training as well as Apprenticeships, Traineeships and Professional Qualifications, all of which equip the workforce with job relevant skills that match the current employment market. Our University Centre also provides Higher Education to employers, including Foundation Degrees, Degrees and Higher Level Apprenticeships.

Our employer engagement supports employability through enhancements to curriculum development, mentoring placements, volunteering opportunities and industry specialist speakers. As a result, 9 out of 10 graduates are in work or further study six months after graduation for the fourth year running.

The College is a Founder member of HIVE – The Blackburn with Darwen Business Leaders’ Network.

HIVE has already become an integral part of the area’s Local Strategic Partnership, which brings together leading figures from the private, public and third sectors and is Blackburn and Darwen’s largest  partnership body.

We are currently working with a large number of the Fab 500 (500 Lancashire businesses with highest turnover). Between these businesses, they employ 150,000 people and have total sales of £27 billion. Examples include:

  • Graham & Brown – Workplace training/AAT Accountancy
  • Crown Paints – CIM/Electrical/Apprenticeships
  • Promethean – CIPS /Management and Apprenticeships in Management & Business Administration
  • Herbert Parkinson (Part of the John Lewis Group) – Textile Apprenticeships
  • Fort Vale Engineering – Range of commercial courses including Management training.

97% of employers say Blackburn College collaborates effectively with them and believe we have a clear understanding of the local skills need and opportunities.

Blackburn College is connected with more than 3,000 employers, locally and regionally.  

Community Impact

  • As the third largest employer in Blackburn the College takes a leading role in transforming Pennine Lancashire into a vibrant and successful economy, which enhances the skills, aspirations and potential of the local community.
  • The College has supported over 1,900 unemployed people who have achieved a 99% success rate in the employment related course they undertook.

We have Royal connections too….

  • Ian Sutherland, one of our Patisserie tutors has made two Royal Wedding cakes
  • Kevin Swales, a Hospitality tutor is an ex chef at Buckingham Palace and  instigated, developed and operated the Royal kitchens first formal training and college work placement programme
  • The laying of the College foundation stone in 1888 by The Prince and Princess of Wales