Leading the way on securing funds for local skills training

Leading the way on securing funds for local skills training

New City College has been instrumental in securing extra government funds for local skills training, particularly in key technologies in the low carbon and renewables sector.

The college led the collaborative green partnership of nine colleges across London, called the Central London Forward Project, which successfully secured a £2.7 million bid from the DfE Strategic Development Fund to pilot new and collaborative ways to develop high quality technical education in the low carbon energy industry.

Jamie Stevenson, Group Executive Director at New City College, said: “Being the project lead for the Central London Forward SDF project has enabled us, alongside local employers and stakeholders, to pioneer a new way of working. From the project’s inception, we have worked collaboratively to identify and meet the local need for high quality technical training to develop green skills. This has included upskilling teaching staff and setting an industry-leading standard for low carbon energy learning labs.

“The SDF has made an important contribution to local people and employers in London by providing access to green skills training which supports people to get a good job or further develop their career in the low carbon energy sector, enabling us to work towards meeting the 2050 net zero challenge.”

The funding has already led to the launch of two Low Carbon Technology labs at NCC which are providing essential green skills and training for the next generation of installers with courses in Solar PV, Solar Thermal, Air Source Heat Pumps, Electric Storage, Electric Vehicle Charging, Retrofit, and Energy Efficiency.

The success of the SDF initiative in upskilling people in areas such as electric and hybrid vehicle maintenance, automation and artificial intelligence, has now been followed by an announcement of a new £165 million fund to transform local skills, from the Department for Education.

A spokesman said that communities across the country would benefit from a share of the £165m to make post-16 technical training more closely aligned to local labour market needs – meaning more people would be able to get jobs closer to where they live, which would help to grow the economy.

Further education providers can apply to the Local Skills Improvement Fund to renovate facilities with up-to-date equipment, help upskill teachers, and deliver new courses in key subjects such as green construction, carbon capture and cyber security – all meeting the needs of local employers.

Minister for Skills, Apprenticeships and Higher Education, Robert Halfon, said: “Building a world-class skills and apprenticeships nation means listening to the specific needs of local people, businesses, and institutions.

“This funding will revolutionise how we plug local skills gaps and provide a boost to the economy. Supporting colleges to better meet the needs of local employers not only boosts businesses, it extends the ladder of opportunity to even more people from all backgrounds who will be equipped with the skills they need to secure a rewarding job close to home.”