Fareham College, working in partnership with other further education providers, has secured additional funding from the Department for Education through the second wave of the Strategic Development Fund (SDF).
Recognised as economically, socially and culturally significant, the Solent region is set to benefit from further investment in skills training and technical education, supporting businesses to address long-standing skills challenges.
The Strategic Development Fund (SDF) forms part of the government’s commitment to boost nationwide skills and get more people into local jobs. Overall, millions have been invested across the country, ensuring young people and adults have access to the technical training and education required to secure rewarding careers and supporting local businesses to tap into their local workforce.
The first round of SDF projects, totalling £65 million nationwide with £4 million in the Solent, included investment in the construction of the College Business Centres, Skillslabs, located at Fareham College and the Isle of Wight College. Fareham College also secured investment in new teaching resources for technical subjects across digital, marine and net zero.
This second round of investment will help to further develop workforce industry exchange programmes, ensuring further education lecturers and industry work together effectively to develop skills training. In partnership with other providers across the Solent, over £1.8 million will be invested in supporting the implementation of artificial intelligence and augmented/virtual reality, low carbon construction and energy, marine systems and robotics.
Andrew Kaye, Principal and Chief Executive of Fareham College, commented, “Ongoing investment as part of the Strategic Development Fund has enabled Fareham College to remain a pioneering provider of advanced technical training in the region, from post-16 education through to adult learners. This further investment will secure additional resources for new and returning students, apprentices and employers and ensure we provide the skills training to best suit local and regional businesses.”
Hampshire Chamber of Commerce, now located onsite in the purpose-built College Business Centre, are a strategic partner working alongside the SDF investment.
Ross McNally, Chief Executive and Executive Chairman of Hampshire Chamber of Commerce, added, “The business community places skills at the top of its agenda in addressing key performance and productivity needs. The Chamber’s designation by the Department for Education as the employer network leading the Solent local skills improvement plan will also add to the many ways we are coming together to address these important challenges.”
The featured image shows the College Business Centre, which was created as a result of the first round of SDF investment, £4 million across the Solent.