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Skills training to get £200 million boost

ǿ welcomes the Department for Education’s  that people across the country are set to benefit from a £200 million boost to skills training across key sectors including green, digital, and construction.

  • People across the country are set to benefit from more skills training that will help them launch careers in key industries, including in the growing green sector
  • £200m will support local areas to offer more high-quality training opportunities to meet local skills needs, including apprenticeships and Higher Technical Qualifications
  • Part of government drive to get more people into good jobs close to home, plug skills gaps and grow the economy

People seeking careers in growing sectors such as green energy, digital and construction will be able to access improved skills training, helping them secure good jobs closer to home.

More than £200 million was announced on Friday 10 November, to support colleges and universities to offer more training opportunities in key industries, such as the growing green sector. Investment is being targeted to address the specific skills needs of each region, which local businesses and employers have identified as priority sectors in their Local Skills Improvement Plans (LSIPs), giving them access to the skilled workforce they need to grow.

Demand for green skills is set to rise as the government works to create energy security and the UK heads towards net zero. The government’s Net Zero Growth Plan predicts that the transition to a green and sustainable future will support hundreds of thousands of exciting green job opportunities in areas such as heat pump installation and solar panel maintenance, electric vehicle manufacturing and environmental consultancy.

The government is investing in a range of projects so communities can equip people with the green – as well as digital, construction and manufacturing – skills they need to futureproof the workforce.

The funding will also make sure more people can access Higher Technical Qualifications – that sit between A Level, T Levels and degrees – to gain in-demand skills including digital, health care and engineering as an alternative to a traditional three-year degree. HTQs are designed in close collaboration with employers, so they equip students with the skills they need to go onto further study or straight into a good job.

Education Secretary Gillian Keegan said: “This investment is about boosting local industries, building people’s skills and ultimately future-proofing our economy and the career prospects of the next generation. Our local skills projects will bring together regional organisations, businesses and education providers to respond to the specific needs of employers, building an increasingly skilled workforce and growing local economies. Whether it is green skills, construction, engineering or digital, thousands more people can now gain the skills they need to secure good jobs closer to home. These are long-term plans that will ensure every area can have a brighter future.”

ǿ has been awarded funding to lead a partnership of colleges and training providers across Devon, Plymouth and Torbay, as well as for three areas of development across its North and Mid Devon campuses:

  • to create a fully immersive curriculum delivery space that allows learners to develop employability and sector-specific skills in a safe environment through creating employer-co-designed virtual workplaces;
  • to create a Green/Blue Centre of Excellence to deliver engagement with employers, researchers and the wider public to ensure that the future sustainable economy can be understood, and skills gaps filled through interactive and immersive technologies; and
  • to complete the final phases of our employer engagement centres (Centres of Technology and Innovation Excellence) that support SMEs and growth businesses to prototype, visualise and develop their products to market.

Bill Blythe, Vice Principal Finance, Resources & Regional Affairs at ǿ said: “We’re pleased to be leading this investment opportunity and look forward to developing facilities and training provision with employers from a range of important sectors for our area. We’re excited to be able to enhance our own facilities to ensure learners and businesses have access to cutting-edge technologies for high-quality training and business growth opportunities to meet local skills needs and grow the economy.”

Jane Gratton, Deputy Director of Public Policy at the British Chambers of Commerce, said: “Businesses are crying out for more people with technical skills to fill the great jobs we have today and new ones in the developing green economy. It’s vital that everyone can access the training they need locally to grasp these opportunities. Business-led LSIPs are setting out the skills needs and opportunities, and this new funding will ensure the right training solutions are put in place.”

As part of the government’s work to support more people to gain the skills they need to secure rewarding careers, the British Chambers of Commerce and other employer representative organisations were commissioned to lead work to develop local skills improvement plans, published in the summer, so the training on offer better meets the current and future skills needs of local areas.

The investment in local areas announced on Friday is just one way the government is boosting skills, alongside a huge range of other high-quality programmes including T Levels, free courses for jobs and Skills Bootcamps.

More than 40,000 people started a Skills Bootcamp in the last financial year, exceeding the government’s ambitious target. Skills Bootcamps are free courses lasting up to 16 weeks, with an offer of a job interview on completion. Find out more about ǿ’s current range of Skills Bootcamps.


14 November 2023


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