College awarded share of £10.3 million Local Skills Improvement Fund

28th November 2023

Solihull College & University Centre and Stratford-upon-Avon College have been awarded Government funding to help ensure students are at the front of the queue when it comes to future careers and local employers are further able to upskill their workforce effectively.

The West Midlands and Warwickshire has secured £10.3m from the Local Skills Improvement Fund (LSIF) to enable several further education colleges to train local people to land jobs in new and growing industries such as electric vehicles and battery technology, sustainable construction and the creative/gaming sector.

Led by Solihull College & University Centre, colleges and training providers across the region will work with the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) and Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce to develop and deliver training that will help students gain the skills needed to access good jobs and support employers to train their workforce to meet the evolving needs of the market.

Solihull and Stratford campuses

Funding will be available to help with teacher training and employer engagement. This is part of a wider £200m investment from the Department for Education to enable colleges and universities to respond to skill priorities set out in local skills improvement plans (LSIP) for their area.

Solihull College & University Centre will benefit from the investment provided in all the project strands. This will involve a new technologies room for electrical engineering, an Artificial Intelligence (AI) lab inspiring computer programmers of the future, advanced manufacturing simulation suites at the Greater Birmingham & Solihull Institute of Technology (GBSIoT) Hub, and more.

Vice Principal for Business Growth, Skills and Partnerships at Solihull College & University Centre, Nancy Buckley, commented: “As the lead for the region’s £10.3 million pound LSIF, Solihull College & University Centre are excited to be collaborating with partner colleges across the West Midlands and Warwickshire to deliver a program of investment and training.

“Along with the developments at Solihull’s Blossomfield and Woodlands campuses, Stratford-upon-Avon College will be investing in a state-of-the-art Heat Pump Installation Training Centre and training rigs to enable the delivery of heat pump technology training. Net Zero by 2030 is one of the College’s strategic ambitions, so developing greens skills in the region and promoting sustainability are important elements of utilising the LSIF.”

Mayor of the West Midlands and WMCA Chair, Andy Street, commented: “We are proud of our skills provision for people in the region and we are home to a range of excellent providers offering something for everyone. We work closely with our partners to fund and develop a range of skills provision and support although we appreciate that there is always room from improvement and aspire for more.

“Education providers and partners have been engaged and instrumental in the development of our West Midlands and Warwickshire LSIP and realise the importance of responding to the needs of learners in the region and also of local employers.

“We welcome this additional funding investment from the Department for Education, as it will help bring many of the recommendations from the LSIP to fruition and help colleges and universities to fulfil their ambition and take our provision to the next level.”

The Colleges involved will be engaging with employers to ensure they are aware of the support, facilities, and bespoke training opportunities available.

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