Shipley College Great People Ian

We have some amazing staff members at Shipley, Ian is our Director of Physical Resources and has worked here for 29 years! We asked Ian about his role at the college and why he thinks it's a great place to work:

'I started working here as Property Management Coordinator in October 1993 when I was 23 years old. My job was to look after, refurbish and develop the estate. I am now Director of Physical Resources and oversee several departments with over 70 members of staff, who are integral to the running of the college. 

When I started, one of my first jobs was the refurbishment of our Exhibition Building (the Salt Building had been refurbished by the LEA in 1989/90 before we were incorporated in 1992). At that point it was closed because it was a health and safety risk (ceilings collapsing etc!) but we were able to restore it and add a huge mezzanine floor, for it to once again be used as a place of education. In 1998 we refurbished and remodelled our Mill Building and also added a small mezzanine floor. Since then we have done minor refurbishments and invested in the estate year on year to keep it in good condition and fit for purpose. 

One big part of my job is to attract grant funding (so we don’t have to borrow it!) to spend on the estate and other resources. Over the years we have been pretty successful at attracting grants and currently have funding from the DfE to complete the modern refurbishments of the Salt, Mill and Exhibition buildings which is great. I'm really proud that the college doesn’t have any debt and we have a fantastic campus as this is really rare in the FE sector! Right now one of my focuses is investing in the estate to save energy and we could use some of the funding we have to decarbonise one of the buildings. I’d love to decarbonise all the buildings but we’ll have to see what funding is available in the future to achieve this. We were the first college in the world to sign up to the Sustainable Development Goals and we have been working since the early 90s on green initiatives. We’d love to move the estate towards net zero. 

Another achievement that I'm proud of is the construction of the Jonathan Silver Building. It wasn't an easy project from a planning point of view and it was controversial to some, but it provided much needed space for 100 high need students when the district had no capacity. As a college we’re known for our fantastic SEN department and this building plays a pivotal role in that. 

Right now I am really excited about our latest opportunity to have a new build as part of the Town's Fund. It's a fantastic project which will not only be useful to the college, as we’ll be able to move some of our already established T Level groups into state of the art facilities, but will most importantly be a proper community facility. It will provide public realm external space, purpose built space for the Saltaire Collection and a public exhibition space where they will be able to showcase Saltaire’s History! A tourism point will also be part of the offer along with new public toilets and changing spaces.

I’ve been working at the college for so long that I must like it! But what keeps me here? Saltaire is a real community and the college has been part of that community for decades. Back in the 80’s and early 90’s Saltaire was a bit run down and we’ve been part of the regeneration since the early 90’s and that’s really special.

The college is a fantastic employer and really does care about its staff. I do take that for granted most of the time, but I shouldn’t as it’s not the same in a lot of organisations. Most importantly though, we as an organisation change peoples lives. There’s something very special about seeing people come to us and develop their skills and knowledge and leave as confident individuals to go onto university or into the workforce!'

Want to join our team of ‘Great People’? See all of our current Shipley College vacancies here.


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