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Multi-million pound project to fill skills gaps by 2020
City College Plymouth has partnered with colleges and universities from across the South West to help launch a multi-million pound initiative to improve higher skill levels across the region, with a particular focus on STEM subjects.
Supported by a grant from the European Social Fund (ESF), the scheme involves ten institutions working on two projects which promote science, technology engineering and maths (STEM) skills. The ‘Hidden Talent’ project aims to engage with people of all ages that are currently unlikely to access higher-level education and training. The second project, ‘Strategic Employer Engagement’, will work with small to medium-sized employers to identify skills gaps and look to design higher-level qualifications that will address them.
City College’s ESF Higher Skills Project Manager, Kelly Quick, said: “This is an incredibly important project for both employers and individuals in the South West.
“At the College, we design our courses with employability in mind and so work closely with local employers to ensure we meet any skills gaps. To be able to do this on a larger scale is a fantastic prospect. Engaging with a previously inaccessible group of individuals, encouraging the current workforce to update and improve their skills, and discussing skills gaps with employers will mean by 2020 we will have a highly-qualified workforce that will assist with the growth of businesses in the region.”
The ESF is the European Union’s main financial instrument for supporting the creation of more jobs in the EU and was awarded to City College, working in collaboration with Bridgwater and Taunton College, Petroc College, Plymouth College of Art, South Devon College, Strode College, the University of Exeter, the University of Plymouth and Yeovil College. The projects will run until April 2020 and focus on creating Higher and Degree Apprenticeships to help meet the identified skills gaps.