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Further afield

Miliband warns of `lost generation of young people'

Labour leader Ed Miliband visited the home of a disillusioned sixth-form college student as he campaigned in the Oldham East and Saddleworth by- election. Jordan Strong, 19, who is taking A-levels at Oldham Sixth Form College, voted Liberal Democrat last May but said he is switching to Labour after Nick Clegg's party abandoned its pledge over university tuition fees. Mr Miliband warned of "the risk of a lost generation of young people in this country" ahead of yesterday's by-election, which was called after former MP Phil Woolas's election was quashed by courts over false claims in his campaign literature.

Stability hopes as Northumberland joins Newcastle

Northumberland College has chosen to merge with Newcastle College (pictured) after more than a year of instability, financial difficulties and industrial unrest. Governors said they hoped to draw on Newcastle's "outstanding support and expertise" in stabilising the college, which has 2,500 students and 470 staff across its five campuses. Having previously taken over Skelmersdale and Ormskirk College and created the Intraining Group out of the ashes of the Carter amp; Carter Group, Newcastle College is already the largest college by turnover and the latest deal will bring its revenue to nearly pound;180 million a year.

Colleges Northern Ireland appoints new chairman

Bertie Faulkner has been elected the new chairman of Colleges Northern Ireland, the membership body representing the six regional colleges. Mr Faulkner, a former personnel manager at DuPont, is also chair of governors at North West Regional College and vice-chairman of the Youth Council for Northern Ireland. He said: "The colleges face very real challenges in the time ahead and it is critical that collectively we maximise the voice of this vital sector to ensure that Northern Ireland has the skills base it needs to move out of recession."

Serco teams up with West Notts to offer skills training

West Nottinghamshire College is to provide Skills for Life training for 1,000 staff at outsourcing giant Serco. The deal will see the Mansfield- based college providing basic skills training across the country, with Serco saying it chose West Nottinghamshire for its ability to offer flexible courses and several sites nationwide. Andrew Thompson, director of productivity and change at Serco, said: "This new relationship with West Notts College is a key component in stepping up our well-established commitment to skills for life."

Health means wealth, claims Bradford College

Staff at Bradford College have compiled a guide to improving the health of students and lecturers in FE, claiming it lowered absence and helped save the college pound;390,000. A Practical Guide to Becoming a Healthy College, by healthy college manager Jane Marshall and college journalist Helena Stylianou, offers advice on how Bradford addressed problems in the city named Britain's fattest in 2005. Free gym membership, free fruit and porridge, and an on-site occupational health therapist were among the measures introduced. The guide can be downloaded at

Cabin crew candidates take flight at Aviation Academy

Craven College has struck a deal to train cabin crew for budget airline Jet2. The college in Skipton, North Yorkshire, will train 75 candidates at its specialist Aviation Academy at Leeds Bradford International Airport, where the airline is based. A bespoke five-week course will see them equipped with information on the theory of flight, passenger handling, emergency procedures, customer service, conflict management and security.

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