Barnsley College has been awarded more than £4.2m in funding from the Department for Education’s local skills improvement fund – which will go towards developing the future workforce in areas such as digital and green energy skills.
The college headed up the bid – which was endorsed by Doncaster Chamber of Commerce and supported by Sheffield College, RNN Group, DN Colleges Group, Northern College, Sheffield Hallam University, Communication Specialist College, The University of Sheffield – to address skills gaps identified in the local area.
Demand for green skills is set to rise as the government works to create energy security and the UK heads towards net zero. The college’s own net zero carbon ambitions, as part of the sustainability strategy, have directly informed the local skills improvement plan created for the bid.
The government’s Net Zero Growth Plan predicts the transition to a green and sustainable future will support hundreds of thousands of green job opportunities in areas such as heat pump installation and solar panel maintenance, electric vehicle manufacturing and environmental consultancy.
The funding will also make sure more people can access Higher Technical Qualifications – that sit between A level, T levels and degrees – to gain in-demand skills including digital, health care and engineering as alternatives to a traditional three-year degree. HTQs are designed in close collaboration with employers, so they equip students with the skills they need to go onto further study or straight into a good job.
Education Secretary Gillian Keegan said: “This investment is about boosting local industries, building people’s skills and ultimately futureproofing our economy and the career prospects of the next generation.
“Our local skills projects will bring together regional organisations, businesses and education providers to respond to the specific needs of employers, building an increasingly skilled workforce and growing local economies.
“Whether it is green skills, construction, engineering or digital, thousands more people can now gain the skills they need to secure good jobs closer to home.”
Barnsley College is one of 40 colleges to receive a share of more than £200m in funding. The total sum awarded is £4,257,817.
Last updated: 10th November 2023
Originally posted on: 10th November 2023