• A graphic image with a cutout through which Bradford City Hall is visible
  • Cities of Learning logo, a graphic letter C

Bradford joins the 'Cities of Learning' Programme

The district’s residents will have improved access to learning thanks to Bradford being the first northern place to be named a City of Learning following a competitive process.

Bradford joins six other UK trailblazers taking part in a game-changing new approach to training, skills development and recruitment.

The Royal Society of Arts (RSA) has accepted the district onto its Cities of Learning programme, which aims to widen access to learning for all while having a particular focus on preparing young people for work.

Councillor Imran Khan, Bradford Council’s portfolio holder for Education, Employment and Skills, said: “This is an amazing opportunity for Bradford and the district to work in partnership to highlight the learning and skills of local residents.

“By identifying the skills that local businesses need, the Cities of Learning programme can help create a workforce that is ready for a changing world of work and the emergence of new skill requirements.

“It will also help residents feel a sense of pride and accomplishment when they achieve one of the recognised badges helping highlight the diverse makeup of the district.”

Cities of Learning allows people to earn digital badges for learning skills in a variety of settings – anything from coaching a local football team, volunteering in their community or improving their employability skills – opening job opportunities for their hidden talents.

The programme highlights the skills needed in current industries across the district and uses the digital badges, developed in partnership with Digital Nation, to help employers recognise individuals who have the skills that they need.

Bradford Council submitted its application in November as part of its ambition to become a city of learning and a competitive six-month process followed. The notice of success said: “We thought your application was exemplary. It communicated the strength of your team and governance structures and ambition for the city, with a keen understanding of learner need.”

The programme is run as a partnership by RSA (research and strategy), Real Ideas and Future Creators (through pilot spin-out venture Badge Nation) and Navigatr (platform).

To find out more and how to get involved, visit the Cities of Learning webpage