This week (28th Jan) Nottingham College joined together with a consortium of local colleges and universities to launch the European Social Fund (ESF) High Level Skills programme to tackle high level skills shortages and skills gaps in the region.
The launch event at the Nottingham Conference Centre allowed 29 representatives from local small to medium enterprises (SMEs) to discover what support is available.
Nottingham College, Derby College, Nottingham Trent University (NTU), the University of Derby, Vision West Nottinghamshire College and Nottingham City Council are working together to deliver the project which will support hundreds of small and medium-sized businesses by providing high level skills training, and ensuring their employees are equipped with the skills that SMEs really need.
We are delighted to launch this programme in collaboration with our higher and further education consortium partners across the D2N2 area. By working together in this innovative and unique way, we will be helping over 700 local businesses, and in particular developing new skills pathways to raise skill levels in the local economy.Professor Nigel Wright — Deputy Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation at Nottingham Trent University
The programme, which is funded by the European Social Fund and is due to run until 2020, is made up of two complementary projects, ‘Priority Skills for D2N2 SMEs’ and ‘GRADS for D2N2’:
Priority Skills for D2N2 SMEs will provide bespoke training, career coaching and advice to up-skill and support people working in local SMEs. The focus will be on giving people high-level technical and job-specific skills that are relevant to today's industries.
The GRADS for D2N2 project will work with local SMEs to ensure education and training is relevant to employer needs and that students graduate 'work-ready'. In addition, it will part-fund SMEs to employ graduates through grants to work on specific projects, work experience and internship placements, and higher and degree apprenticeships.