Sunday, December 4, 2022

West Yorkshire Colleges secure £2.6m investment for green skills

The West Yorkshire Consortium of Colleges (WYCC) will be part of the Government’s plans to boost the nation’s skills and make sure more people can secure good, well-paid jobs that are closer to where they live.

The Department for Education has announced that it will invest £2.6 million in West Yorkshire’s colleges through the Strategic Development Fund. This will allow the educators to increase specialist equipment to deliver electric vehicle and retrofit training, grow and embed green knowledge within the curriculum and improve links with businesses to develop and enhance their green skills.

The Strategic Development Fund was launched in 2021 to help colleges and further education providers to transform their facilities and offer high quality technical training that better meet the needs of local employers and boost job opportunities for their communities.

This would mean that local businesses have access to the home-grown talent they need for the jobs of tomorrow and more people don’t need to leave their hometowns to get a good job.

Project director of the West Yorkshire Consortium of Colleges, Joanne Patrickson said: “This funding will make a big difference to our colleges and in turn, the businesses and communities in West Yorkshire. Part of the funding will be a capital investment into equipment and machinery to allow our colleges to train the workforce in electric vehicle maintenance and retrofitting buildings.

“All seven of our partner colleges and Notre Dame Sixth Form College will also benefit from internal training and development in Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). They will work collaboratively to embed Global Goals set out by world leaders within their college, both from a business perspective and within the curriculum.

“Colleges will be employing dedicated teams to work closely with businesses in the region to understand what help they need to become more sustainable, and the West Yorkshire Consortium of Colleges will launch The Green Skills Service to help employers access the training and resources they need to take action.”

Leeds College of Building and Calderdale and Wakefield Colleges are set to receive £800K in capital and revenue investment to enhance their courses in retrofit. This will allow the colleges to develop the right skills for the future of the construction industry.

Leeds City College, Kirklees, Bradford, Wakefield and Calderdale Colleges will be receiving £1.8m to invest in electric vehicle equipment to improve the student experience and offer hands-on training in the future of the mechanical industry.

The £2.6 million is contracted to be spent by 31 March 2023, but this initial investment will allow these new initiatives to establish and offer training that will prepare the workforce for a sustainable future.

The initiatives include:

  • The Green Skills Service, a dedicated service to inspire and offer support and training to businesses in the uptake of green skills,
  • Led by Shipley College, ongoing and structured collaboration and learning activity across the colleges to embed Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into college operations and curriculum, and
  • 25 new training courses will launch utilising the new equipment in retrofit and electric vehicle to prepare the workforce for the changing practices in the industry.

Nikki Davis, principal of Leeds College of Building, said: “Leeds College of Building is delighted to be working in collaboration with our college partners across West Yorkshire to develop skills within sustainability and the green agenda.

“This project will enable partners to provide the technology and facilities required as curriculum developments for retrofit and low carbon transport are developed alongside.

“The project is essential to make progress and we hope it will provide a catalyst for the region, and further support the strong relationships between FE colleges to make a real difference to the employers and communities of West Yorkshire.”

Partner colleges for the project: Bradford College, Calderdale College, Kirklees College, Leeds College of Building, Leeds City College, Notre Dame Sixth Form College, Shipley College and Wakefield College.

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