Thousands of apprentices and students are helping plug skills gaps and learning valuable trades with the support of world-class training facilities on Enterprise Zones, Local Growth Minister Penny Mordaunt has announced.
More than £65 million has been committed to new state-of-the-art campuses and colleges since the industry hubs opened for business, providing training places for more than 2,000 people this year alone.
Many of the facilities have been launched in consultation with local businesses, meaning that training is tailored to teach the high-demand skills that will help them grow and remain competitive while providing hard-working people with the experience they need to carve out successful careers.
The Government’s Enterprise Zones have created vibrant business hubs where companies can share ideas, technology and infrastructure to drive forward growth across a range of key sectors, including aerospace, manufacturing and the energy industry.
Global giants like Rolls Royce and BAE Systems are backing the training centres alongside leading local firms.
Local Growth Minister Penny Mordaunt said: “Enterprise Zones are supporting businesses and giving hard-working people the skills they need to succeed. These new colleges and training centres are at the heart of that vision and are helping plug skills gaps across a range of key sectors. That’s great news for the economy as it means the UK will have the skills needed to compete on a global stage for years to come. It really does show how Enterprise Zones are central to our long-term economic plan.”
The Government launched the 24 Enterprise Zones in April 2012 as part of a 25 year project to rebalance the economy. Offering tax incentives, simplified planning and superfast broadband to companies, the Zones have been a catalyst for growth, transforming many derelict and challenging sites across the country.
They have already created more than 15,500 jobs and attracted over 480 companies, many who employ apprentices, providing a real boost to local economies and communities.
By basing training facilities on these sites, companies can work more closely with learning providers to identify skills gaps and make sure apprentices and students are given the best possible training.
- The University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre’s Training Centre at the Sheffield Enterprise Zone. Built by the University, opened last year and backed by companies like Rolls-Royce, Tata Steel and leading local firms, the £20 million facility is focussed on supporting the manufacturing sectors and is currently training 400 full and part-time apprentices with plans for hundreds more in the future;
- Fareham College’s Centre for Engineering and Manufacturing Advanced Skills Training centre at the Solent Enterprise Zone. The £12 million facility was opened last year and is providing places for nearly 900 students including 135 apprentices. Its curriculum has been created in partnership with local industry, to focus on the most relevant and up-to-date techniques. This has helped it become the main learning centre for apprenticeship programmes with companies such as BAE Systems, GE Aviation, Virgin Atlantic, Burgess Marine and Jensen Motorsport;
- The £1 million Nexus Centre at the Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft Enterprise Zone. The state-of-the-art facility was launched in November 2012 to fill a void in skills in the local engineering sector. The East of England has a growing offshore energy industry with manufacturing engineering skills in high demand. The facility is currently training 120 students between the ages of 13 to 19 years and also provides evening courses to adults;
- A new £11 million training centre at the MIRA Technology Park in the Midlands. The site is becoming the premier location for automotive research and design in the country and has an increasing need for skilled engineers. The centre will help address that need when it opens its doors later next year. A collaboration between the Enterprise Zones itself, the Universities of Loughborough and Leicester and North Warwickshire and Hinckley College, the facility will train up to 500 apprentices in its first three years while providing additional training for up to 2,000 more people; and
- The Wirral Waters Campus of the Wirral Met College will be the first new building on the Mersey Waters Enterprise Zone. Set to open in September, the £8 million facility will provide a pipeline of skills for employers who will be investing in the Wirral by locating into the new Enterprise Zone. Students have already been given the chance to work on site during the development, giving them an insight into all aspects of a major construction project. When open there will be places for 600 vocational students including 200 apprentices a year.
There are also plans in place for a new £15.6 million training facility to be developed on the BAE site at Samlesbury, part of the Lancashire Enterprise Zone. Due to open in 2016, it will offer state-of-the-art facilities for BAE Systems apprentices and existing employees.