Coll Bell

Training and Workforce Development Manager in Health and Social Care for Calderdale Council,
Coll Bell, attended Bradford College from 1979 to 1981, studying for his A Levels.

Coll BellWhilst at College, Coll worked part-time, played for his local football team, and as an active member of his local church carried out youth work. Coll started his professional life as Junior Commercial Underwriter at a Lloyds Broker. His passion for football followed him as did his vocation for working with young people, which developed a pathway into working with disadvantaged young people and those at those at risk.

Coll worked within the community setting leading a team supporting young people at the heights of the Bradford Riots. He has been training Social Workers and other Care practitioners for several years. A Training Practitioner in Child Care, Child Protection he now leads Workforce Development and Learning in Health and Social Care for Calderdale Council.

As Workforce Development Manager in the HR function he is responsible for Learning Policy and Strategy amongst his other duties. Coll is passionate about learning. “I am a Bradford lad, with humble roots. It was whilst at College that I discovered my own learning style, amidst the challenge or perhaps the struggle of finding out what it meant to be an independent learner, where lectures provided in an environment where challenge, and debate help to foster self awareness.

I am currently responsible for directing the qualifications strategy for the workforce. Qualifications are important. They demonstrate achievement in learning, and the acquisition of skills and knowledge, but also for practitioners they confirm professional standing. Learning never stops it is for life, qualifications are not an end in themselves but can herald the beginning of the search for knowledge and broaden the mind, a stimulus for reflective learning, to improve practice and gain better understanding. They give confidence to the people we support, a level of assurance that they are in good hands.

Qualifications ought not to create a barrier of superiority. For example working with young people, at the end of the day you have to get in someone’s face and say you care about them. If you are truly trying to assist people to make better choices in their lives it is about empowering and supporting them, facilitating their learning and helping them to unpack their own potential.”

Photograph by Shelagh Ward