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£3.1million awarded to capital skills projects to address the skills challenges faced by local businesses now and in the future

Thames Valley Berkshire LEP has invested an additional £3.1m of Local Growth Funds to support skills capital projects as part of its Growth Deal with government.

To date, the LEP has supported five projects to provide new and improved learning facilities or services for local people to train in the skills needed by employers, including STEM ‘Solutions Labs’ in colleges and collaborations with the NHS and University of Reading.

The additional funding will be invested in five new skills-focused projects in Berkshire to support the LEP’s strategic objectives:

  • SATRO is developing a mobile classroom, which will work in schools teaching BTEC Level 1 Construction to 14-16-year olds.
  • Activate Learning will create a Care Skills Training Centre at Reading College. The new training facility will focus on the healthcare sector and include training areas, which simulate hospital environments and emergency care scenarios. Working closely with the Royal Berkshire Hospital, the aim is to increase capacity for health and care occupations and encourage more people to choose a career in this sector.
  • New Directions Reading is creating a new state of the art training space for the digital sector. The project, The Curious Lounge, will fit out an empty office space in Reading town centre for use by a range of different organisations to deliver training and to provide information, advice and guidance.
  • The Windsor Forest Group will develop a dedicated Higher Education Centre at Langley College, which will increase higher education provision for a number of sector subject areas including digital technology, engineering and science and construction.
  • A new purpose-built centre on the Newbury College campus received an injection of funding. The University Centre Newbury will focus on addressing the higher-level skill requirements of key sectors, including digital technologies, business and finance, engineering, health and social care and construction.

Katharine Horler, Chair of the Skills, Education & Employment Strategy Group said, “There is an urgent requirement to align employers’ needs with education provision, particularly in the digital tech, science, construction and health & social care space. The recipients of Local Growth Funds for skills projects have been selected because they do exactly that – they’ve identified areas of training to meet the needs of local employers. We are looking forward to seeing the impact this funding will have on the Berkshire area.”


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