Skills training to be transformed with innovative projects
People seeking careers in growing sectors such as green energy, digital and construction will be able to access improved skills training, helping them secure good jobs closer to home.
More than £200 million has been announced, on 10th November, to support colleges and universities to offer more training opportunities in key industries, such as the growing green sector. Investment is being targeted to address the specific skills needs of each region, which local businesses and employers have identified as priority sectors in their local skills improvement plans (LSIPs), giving them access to the skilled workforce they need to grow.
Demand for green skills is set to rise as the government works to create energy security and the UK heads towards net zero. The government’s net zero growth plan predicts that the transition to a green and sustainable future will support hundreds of thousands of exciting green job opportunities in areas such as heat pump installation and solar panel maintenance, electric vehicle manufacturing and environmental consultancy.
During green careers week (6 -11 November), the government is investing in a range of projects so communities can equip people with the green - as well as digital, construction and manufacturing - skills they need to futureproof the workforce.
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 an 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.
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.
MidKent College in Kent has been awarded funding to build a new training facility to provide hands-on experience in retrofit energy efficiency measures, renewable and sustainable energy solutions. The new courses will cover a range of areas including thermal imaging, aerial survey and mapping and will utilise virtual reality capabilities to develop simulated engineering challenges, construction processes and techniques, supporting people to gain the skills needed to launch green careers.
Simon Cook, Principal and CEO at MidKent College said: "We’re thrilled that construction and building services businesses across Kent & Medway will benefit from this investment in retrofit technology and training. We know from our conversations with employers that growing skills for sustainable construction practices and improving the energy efficiency of existing housing stock are priorities for the sector here in the Southeast.
"We’re incredibly proud that this new facility will work seamlessly with our Home Energy Centre and Sustainable Construction Skills Factory at the heart of our Maidstone campus, and alongside our own efforts to make the campus carbon neutral by 2030."
Minister of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, Graham Stuart said: "The UK’s world-leading climate ambitions and our net zero target demand a workforce to match.
"Whether it’s manufacturing electric vehicles, installing heat pumps, or building wind turbines, this funding will help train the tens of thousands of skilled workers needed to power our green industrial revolution and grow the economy."
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.
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 develop local skills improvement plans, published in the summer, so the training on offer better meets the current and future skills needs of local areas.
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 courses lasting up to 16 weeks, with an offer of a job interview on completion.
They are available across the country in a wide range of in demand subjects, including heat pump engineering and electric vehicle maintenance, and are another example of how the government is helping get more people into green careers.
This investment is about boosting local industries, building people’s skills and ultimately futureproofing our economy and the career prospects of the next generation.