News - 09 February 2016

Businesses hear how new university centre will help to ‘skill-up’ workforce of the next generation

Employers and businesses attended a free breakfast event at West Nottinghamshire College this morning (February 9), to hear how a £6.5million learning centre – part-funded by the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership – can help supply them with skilled workforces.

The business breakfast was held at the College’s Derby Road campus and served to update employers on the new Vision University Centre being built at the site, which is being part-funded by the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership.

The Centre – due to open in September (2016) and eventually take an extra 600 learners – will allow students to learn advanced vocational skills; as well as offering Higher National Certificates, Higher National Diplomas, foundation degrees and full-honours degrees, and professionally-certified qualifications. West Nottinghamshire College wants to build its course offering around what employers need in their workforces, to help fill their ‘skills gaps’ and it is for this reason that businesses were asked to attend this morning.

One of the speakers at this morning’s briefing was D2N2 ESIF (European Structural and Investment Funds) Co-Ordinator Richard Kirkland, who spoke on:

  • Higher level skills for business survival, growth and job creation
  • D2N2 development of employer led skills strategies, supported by variety of funding streams including Local Growth Fund (LGF) – which is being used to part-fund the Vision University Centre
  • Greater collaboration between universities and businesses with graduate placements
  • The services offered by the D2N2 Growth Hub, to help businesses access finance and grow.

The Vision University Centre is one of a number of projects the LEP is funding through its £192m Local Growth Fund allocation; aimed at providing vital infrastructure to enable economic growth in its area of Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire.

D2N2 is also enhancing skills development and employability in its catchment through measures such as its recently launched Employability Framework, which will get volunteer business advisors working with schools to widen young people’s career ambitions.

One of 39 LEPs across England, D2N2 has a private sector-led Board of skills and training providers, businesses, local authorities, and voluntary and community organisations, and promotes economic growth and jobs creation across its area, with the target of creating 55,000 new jobs by 2023.

To find out more about West Nottinghamshire College, click here

To see other LGF projects in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, click here

To find out more about D2N2’s skills strategy, click here

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