People across the North East are set to benefit from more skills training in industries such as green construction, green energy and net zero.
From next year, colleges and other training providers across the region will start to offer these exciting opportunities, which have been specifically aligned to the priority sectors identified by local employers in their Local Skills Improvement Plans.
Colleges and universities will receive a share of £200 million to help transform skills training so that local businesses can continue to tap into the skilled workforce they need to thrive, while helping more people to secure good jobs closer to home.
Innovative projects have given the go ahead, which will support people to gain the skills needed to launch careers in the green sector and support the local economy to grow.
Northumberland College and its provider partnership in the North of Tyne area has been awarded funding for the creation of a range of exciting green construction training facilities, with the latest technologies supplied by leading equipment manufacturers of air source heat pumps, photovoltaics and energy storage, to provide hands-on training in sustainable and skilled construction.
The funding will also enable the development of simulated and immersive learning scenarios, which replicate the reality of working in the construction industry. The investment will boost training in key retrofit skills like replacing gas boilers with greener alternatives.
Gary Potts, Principal of Northumberland College said: “We are extremely grateful to be receiving this investment from the Department for Education which will help support local people to secure and sustain jobs in the emerging green construction sector.
“The green construction project will address the short- and long-term skills requirements of employers, linked to specific new and emerging technologies that enable the retrofitting and decarbonisation of properties across the region. Solutions will be co-created with employers to train new entrants to the sector and upskill and reskill the current workforce.”
Education Secretary Gillian Keegan said: “This investment is about boosting local industries, building people’s skills and ultimately futureproofing 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.”
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 publish local skills improvement plans, published in the summer, so the training on offer better meets the current and future skills needs of local areas.
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.”
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 alternatives 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.
The investment in local areas announced today 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 short courses with an offer of a job interview on completion. They are available across the country in a wide range of subjects including heat pump engineering, electric vehicle maintenance, and digital.
We are the largest further education provider in Northumberland with campuses throughout the county.
Our student transport scheme is available for eligible students to make getting to and from college as easy as possible.
Our extensive re-development programme will create outstanding new facilities.
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