An ‘Outstanding’ rated college has become a patron of the Barnsley & Rotherham Chamber of Commerce in a bid to help support local businesses overcome skills shortages.

Barnsley College, which operates 12 specialist training campuses in Barnsley, is responsible for delivering an extensive range of A Levels, Apprenticeships, Vocational and Higher Education courses ranging from Animal Care and Childcare to Construction and Engineering and Travel and Tourism.

The college delivers both part-time and full-time courses as well as helping to prepare school leavers for the world of work following the completion of their studies.

Over the years, the college has been home to a number of famous faces and notable alumni includes Arctic Monkeys’ Alex Turner and Matt Helders, Egyptologist and TV Presenter Joann Fletcher, and award-winning radio presenter and host of the 2018 Business Awards, Stephanie Hirst.

The education provider is the fourth new Patron member to join the Barnsley & Rotherham Chamber this year, alongside premium hair growth product business Watermans, Public Relations agency Cannon PR and construction specialists Fortem.

Yiannis Koursis, Deputy Principal, Barnsley College, said: “Arguably one of the greatest challenges facing every business is recruiting the right members of staff to help them achieve their own growth ambitions. We collaboratively work alongside businesses based throughout South Yorkshire and becoming a patron member of the Chamber reflects our commitment to forging stronger links with the local business community.

“As a patron we hope to be able work more closely with local businesses, enabling us to help overcome skills barriers within the local economy, whilst helping to equip the next generation with the vital skills and knowledge to succeed in their future careers.”

Andrew Denniff, Chief Executive, Barnsley & Rotherham Chamber said: “We have enjoyed a good relationship with the College for many years and them becoming a Patron really enhances that partnership. Together we can work closely with local businesses and help youngsters entering the workplace for the first time to engage with local employers.”