Fareham College has been selected to deliver a brand-new pilot scheme that aims to support the development of a high-value curriculum offer in support of longer-term skills priorities in the local area and strengthen colleges’ relationships with employers.
The Strategic Development Fund pilot will see 11 Further Education and Sixth Form Colleges in the Solent region work collaboratively on a range of projects designed to support the upskilling and reskilling of local people and provide businesses with the skilled workforce they need to be successful in a post-COVID economy.
The projects will assist local businesses with their recovery by providing them with better access to the training they require, when and how they need it. They will enable the reskilling and upskilling of people across the Solent region by providing a variety of high-quality, accessible education and training that meets the future economic needs of local communities; will support businesses by driving innovation and addressing skills gaps through establishing sought after services for employers at our region’s local colleges, and they will create an impactful post-16 educational and skills system that addresses counter-productive competition between institutions.
The colleges involved in this pilot include: Fareham College, Isle of Wight College, HSDC, Eastleigh College, Brockenhurst College, Southampton City College, Highbury College, Portsmouth College, Itchen College, Barton Peveril College and the Lighthouse Learning Trust comprising Richard Taunton’s and St Vincent’s colleges.
Projects include providing the skills needed for a future green economy and for jobs related to carbon reduction. The Strategic Development Fund will aim to support small business growth in the region. An exciting aspect of the project is the proposal for a College Business Centre which will bring colleges and employers together, working in partnership with Hampshire Chamber of Commerce.
Fareham College Principal and Chief Executive, Andrew Kaye said, “We are delighted to have been selected to deliver one of the Strategic Development Fund pilots in the Solent region and we are looking forward to working with our partners to deliver high-quality training in industries where skills shortages have been identified and improve career opportunities for local people.”
Ross McNally, Chief Executive Officer at Hampshire Chamber of Commerce added, “This is a most welcome and really significant opportunity to support local businesses in addressing their skills needs across many sectors. Hampshire Chamber is working closely with the partnership to help reach out to the business community across the region, shaping the programme around their specific business objectives.”
Rachael Randall, the Solent LEP’s Skills Lead, said: “This is great news for our region and we look forward to building on our pioneering employer-led skills system and excellent track record of partnership working to deliver the best outcomes for our local and business communities. We are ambitious for the Solent to fulfil its potential with a world-class talent base through this Strategic Development Fund investment, which will help create the environment where learning and skills needs come together to meet the challenges of economic recovery.”