Young talent being 'drained' from Blackburn

This Is Lancashire: Young talent being 'drained' from town, says Blackburn principal Young talent being 'drained' from town, says Blackburn principal

A BLACKBURN college principal said the town is losing its brightest youngsters because of marketing campaigns.

New St Mary’s College principal Frank Dixon has said he wishes to work with other sixth form providers in Blackburn with Darwen to stem a ‘drain’ of A-level students.

Mr Dixon has said it is common for many young people in the town to travel for an hour and a half daily to other colleges outside town because of advertising campaigns.

He said A-level study on offer in the town is highly rated by Ofsted, but young people are swayed by mail drops and radio campaigns.

After being promoted to the head role from his deputy leadership position he said one of his top priorities will be to keep local talent in the area. He added: “It really is not unusual for some of the big North West colleges to directly target students' home addresses with advertising.

“Pupils as young as 13 are getting CDs and postcards urging them to range outside town for their A-level study choices.

“There are also colleges spending vast amounts advertising on the radio and in cinemas.

“It’s damaging, because in Blackburn with Darwen we want to keep our best and brightest here.

“There’s no reason to spend so much time travelling because there are so many good A-level, vocational and apprenticeship providers right here in town.

“The only difference is that principals like myself want to spend our budget on actual teaching, not on marketing and adverts.

“Both ourselves and St Wilfred’s gained good Ofsted ratings and only a few in the entire country did better this year. When good education is on offer right here, it makes no sense to be losing students to other areas. We may never get this talent back once they leave the area.”

Blackburn with Darwen NUT representative Simon Jones said: “This is a worry for many educators in the area because more and more, they are being forced to become businesses.

“It is not at all surprising that sixth form colleges which focus on teaching are losing out to the marketing approach.

“This type of industry-style competition is really destructive. When it is older students who drive and travel further afield, the competitiveness can be damaging to an entire area.

“Spending vast sums on advertising and marketing has no place in the educational system.”

Comments (4)

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2:09pm Mon 3 Feb 14

Benpupdog says...

Blackburn is losing its young up and coming talent purely because there are no prospects here. It is now a town with a high number of undesirable dole dossers, muggers thieves and rapists. Just read the Telegraph and the amount of crime it reports. Thats why the higher educated young pupils are moving away.
Blackburn is losing its young up and coming talent purely because there are no prospects here. It is now a town with a high number of undesirable dole dossers, muggers thieves and rapists. Just read the Telegraph and the amount of crime it reports. Thats why the higher educated young pupils are moving away. Benpupdog
  • Score: 11

5:11pm Mon 3 Feb 14

Loving lances says...

They are not going to Burnley.
They are not going to Burnley. Loving lances
  • Score: 0

9:46pm Mon 3 Feb 14

mavrick says...

There needs to be hope for a job for the young people. I am afraid the North west has not reinvented itself to offer what is needed. Manchester have shown the way with media city and many other big city job creation projects. Aspirations have changed and we need to meet the challenge. But in North east lancs parochialism is doing a lot of damage. We need to raise the quality of the A levels and other higher education qualifications. The education system has to work much closer with industry to develop the skills needed, Any change in trends would be picked up sooner. this could start at school at say 14 onwards. give young people a real taste of working life.
There needs to be hope for a job for the young people. I am afraid the North west has not reinvented itself to offer what is needed. Manchester have shown the way with media city and many other big city job creation projects. Aspirations have changed and we need to meet the challenge. But in North east lancs parochialism is doing a lot of damage. We need to raise the quality of the A levels and other higher education qualifications. The education system has to work much closer with industry to develop the skills needed, Any change in trends would be picked up sooner. this could start at school at say 14 onwards. give young people a real taste of working life. mavrick
  • Score: 1

8:39am Tue 4 Feb 14

Kevin, Colne says...

There are some truly excellent A Level providers in East Lancashire. Nelson & Colne College is one of the very best, and it’s right on our doorstep.

I think the real elephant in the room is the role of marketing and our failure to equip young people psychologically to deal with this.

Children are offered inoculation against diseases but there’s no attempt to instil a mental framework that would assist in repelling the wily ploys of the marketing profession. Thus they are left wholly exposed to voracious corporations whose primary aim is getting them to part with their money in return for a product or service that may be necessary or useful, or downright inappropriate.

A few examples illustrate the point.

Many fast-food providers offer a larger size dish for an extra payment. This looks like a real bargain, but it’s not. Well, actually it is: it’s a real bargain for the fast-food place not the customer. The larger size dish usually amounts to a few extra chips and a larger fizzy drink. The cost of providing this is minimal so a very large percentage of the seemingly cheap additional charge to the customer amounts to extra profit. Coffee outlets are the same when they offer going large for an extra payment and all you’re getting is a bit more boiled water.

Young adults that go to university are very vulnerable because they fall into the hand of some of the most dangerous corporate predators known to man – banks. As I said to my children when you enter a bank visualise the bank as the wolf and yourself as a lamb. When they push the loan leaflet showing a picture of a happy person realising their dreams with a loan replace that picture in your mind with someone attached to a ball and chain.

PPI, is a classic for example - it wasn't just mis-sold; it was mis-bought.

Supermarkets provide a superb case-study of the tools of marketing - one needs a very strong will indeed to resist and counter their spells.

Raising awareness of the sophistry of marketing techniques - and that is what the techniques are in my honest opinion for the reasons outlined above – among young people is long overdue.

The political class talk endlessly about choice as empowerment, but without an appropriate mental framework it easily can become entrapment.
There are some truly excellent A Level providers in East Lancashire. Nelson & Colne College is one of the very best, and it’s right on our doorstep. I think the real elephant in the room is the role of marketing and our failure to equip young people psychologically to deal with this. Children are offered inoculation against diseases but there’s no attempt to instil a mental framework that would assist in repelling the wily ploys of the marketing profession. Thus they are left wholly exposed to voracious corporations whose primary aim is getting them to part with their money in return for a product or service that may be necessary or useful, or downright inappropriate. A few examples illustrate the point. Many fast-food providers offer a larger size dish for an extra payment. This looks like a real bargain, but it’s not. Well, actually it is: it’s a real bargain for the fast-food place not the customer. The larger size dish usually amounts to a few extra chips and a larger fizzy drink. The cost of providing this is minimal so a very large percentage of the seemingly cheap additional charge to the customer amounts to extra profit. Coffee outlets are the same when they offer going large for an extra payment and all you’re getting is a bit more boiled water. Young adults that go to university are very vulnerable because they fall into the hand of some of the most dangerous corporate predators known to man – banks. As I said to my children when you enter a bank visualise the bank as the wolf and yourself as a lamb. When they push the loan leaflet showing a picture of a happy person realising their dreams with a loan replace that picture in your mind with someone attached to a ball and chain. PPI, is a classic for example - it wasn't just mis-sold; it was mis-bought. Supermarkets provide a superb case-study of the tools of marketing - one needs a very strong will indeed to resist and counter their spells. Raising awareness of the sophistry of marketing techniques - and that is what the techniques are in my honest opinion for the reasons outlined above – among young people is long overdue. The political class talk endlessly about choice as empowerment, but without an appropriate mental framework it easily can become entrapment. Kevin, Colne
  • Score: 4

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