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Department for Education Announce Skills Training Boost

Skills training boost for Northwest to support more people into jobs locally

  • More high-quality training opportunities will soon be available, supporting people to kickstart careers in green skills, digital and engineering.
  • Training including apprenticeships and Higher Technical Qualifications will help meet the growing demand for these skills across the region.
  • Part of government drive to get more people into good jobs closer to home, plug skills gaps and grow the economy.

People across the Northwest are set to benefit from more skills training including in low carbon clean energy solutions, artificial intelligence, and electric and hybrid vehicle repair.  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.  Across the region, employers identified skills including digital, construction and engineering as their priorities.  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.

Cheshire College South and West has been awarded funding to launch two new exciting projects – one to increase healthcare training, including by building a replica hospital ward for students to use, and another to develop their current electrical and manufacturing courses with new equipment and a campaign to get more women on the course.  The manufacturing courses will focus on sustainability and net zero, to better align with the needs of the local industry.

Principal and CEO of Cheshire College, Jasbir Dhesi OBE said:

“We are delighted to learn that we have been awarded this additional funding. It is no secret that higher technical skills are a key driver towards a better and more sustainable economy and future.

“The investment is allowing us to invest in cutting-edge facilities, inspirational resources and equipment that ensures our curriculum meets the needs of employers, supports improved productivity and contributes to our nation’s drive to net zero.

“Whether it is our T level students or those returning to education to upskill or retrain, this fantastic investment in our college is helping students of all ages and the wider community gain the skills and knowledge they need to meet regional and national priorities and will equip them with the skills for current and future employment.”

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 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.

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.

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