£370k injected to boost regional construction, creative and digital skills
Stoke on Trent College has become one of the first training providers to receive funding from Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire LEP’s Skills Equipment Fund round 3, as part of the broader Getting Building Fund. A total £370k of funding has been awarded to the college to deliver two forward-thinking projects, designed to ensure learners are work-ready and support future success for the regional construction; and creative and digital industries.
With the use of complex digital technology accelerating across the built environment sector to improve the productivity, efficiency and quality of output, £120k has been secured to deliver the Construction Industry Digital Technologies (CIDT) Project. Funding will see Burslem Campus’ Training Centre secure up-to-date physical resources to help local people gain and enhance digital skills in AR and VR. These include: drone mapping; robotic configuration; Automated Manufacturing and logic control (PLC); Building Information Management (BIM); 4D Modelling; 3D imaging; and Modular Building.
Meanwhile, phase 2 of the Creative and Digital Industries (CDI) Project will see £250k allocated to fund the final phase of the Cauldon Campus’ existing New Library Building refurbishment. This will help create a collaborative learning space for the development of digital skills including 3D visualisation; Motion Capture; 3D scanning; coding; and software engineering for learners in the Digital Arts and Engineering sectors at advanced and higher levels.
Aligned with the LEP’s Local Industrial Strategy (LIS), the projects pose vast economic opportunities, helping to support the growth of local industry and boost productivity. Businesses – from homegrown regional giants to fast-growing SMEs – will have the opportunity to upskill existing employees and become more competitive, while an increase in highly-skilled talent helps encourage more businesses to see Stoke and Staffordshire as a desirable place to start-up or locate.
In turn, increased support for local skills will help to tackle 16-24 and adult unemployment and NEET levels across the area, and enable local people to progress into higher education or higher level and more highly-paid jobs.
Alun Rogers, chair at Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire LEP, said:
“The Skills Equipment Fund has been designed to support skills-focused learning across the region, and Stoke on Trent College’s Construction Industry Digital Technologies Project is a fantastic example of learning innovation for wider benefit.
“The project poses massive potential to attract businesses, boost skills and grow existing talent across Stoke and Staffordshire, and will help our area to lead thinking and delivery across the construction sector for years to come – a great opportunity for our region.”
Pete Sherry, Chief Experience Officer for Commercial Partnerships at Stoke on Trent College, added:
“Digital technology will be pivotal to the future of the construction sector, and holds the key to improved productivity, efficiency and quality.
“We’re delighted to receive this funding from the LEP, which will be crucial to upskilling our students and readying them for the world of work, meanwhile supporting the wider industry to embrace digital tools that improve delivery and operations in the built environment.”
The projects are expected to enhance Stoke on Trent College’s existing training offer and primarily deliver level 3 qualified learners, which will help increase the number of apprenticeship job opportunities and progression into higher education.
Minister for Regional Growth and Local Government, Luke Hall MP said:
“We’re helping students in Stoke-on-Trent to become work-ready for new and emerging industries with a £250,000 Getting Building Fund investment.
“The new facilities will provide exciting opportunities for students to gain a range of digital skills, boosting local employment prospects, helping progression to higher education and supporting local businesses.
“In turn, this will help to strengthen the local economy, level-up the region and deliver more opportunities to the community”.
In line with wider environmental targets, the CIDT project places an emphasis on low carbon technology, while the CID project aims to refurbish existing builds to reduce carbon footprint, helping to future-proof learners’ skills and support wider regional economic efforts.
The new equipment will be located in the Seddon Building Construction Training Centre at Stoke on Trent College’s Burslem Campus and the college’s Cauldon Campus.