Nottingham College has won a pioneering bid to develop a new Green Skills Centre and launch a suite of new training courses designed to put Nottingham and the wider East Midlands region at the forefront of the decarbonisation and green skills agenda.
More than £6.6m has been secured as grant funding for the D2N2 sub region’s seven colleges, council-owned training providers and The Futures Group, to come together to develop a holistic skills response to the needs of our region.
The Local Skills Improvement Fund, provided by the Department for Education, offers skills providers the chance to invest in and develop new innovative provision, responsive to local needs and emerging technologies.
For our region these needs include green productivity and the Net Zero transition, high-end digital skills supporting AI and smart tech, along with the underpinning essential and transferable skills crucial for advancement in the world of work.
For Nottingham College, a proportion of the £6.6 million will be used to establish new green productivity hubs across our sub-region supporting local businesses in the transition to net zero and in developing the knowledge and skills needed to create sustainable products and services. There will be six hubs in total, covering the wider geographical areas of Nottingham, Derby, Newark, Chesterfield, Mansfield and Burton (South Derbyshire).
The college will also create a Digital Knowledge Exchange Hub which will trial new, innovative provision in AI, e‑sports and smart technologies.
In addition the college will work with sub-regional partners to develop a harmonised approach to the measurement and recognition of essential employability skills.
Janet Smith, CEO and Principal for Nottingham College said:
It is wonderful to be receiving this investment from the Department for Education which will allow us to truly respond to the needs of our local and regional economy, now so rooted in green skills and technological innovation. This investment will enable us to trailblaze in a number of emerging sectors, offering dedicated skills packages to employers, to young people and to our existing students, to ensure they are ready and equipped for the world of work.
The jobs of the near future look very different to the jobs of our recent past and it is incumbent on us as training providers to respond effectively to the evolving skills needs of our economy.
This investment will provide crucial investment in research, resource, equipment and training that will enable us to develop new provision across the three skills areas identified. It’s an exciting time for our college and for the partners we’re working with across the D2N2 region.— Janet Smith
The project kicks off in November 2023, and begins with widespread employer engagement and consultation to ensure needs are identified and captured and responsive solutions can be developed.
The successful bid comes off the back of many months of cross-college collaboration and partnership development and signifies a real step-change in the development of partnership-based local skills solutions.