Apprenticeships and skills training opportunities for jobseekers are to be given a welcome boost with the announcement of a new Apprenticeship and Skills Hub for Hampshire and Surrey.
Enterprise M3 LEP helped secure £1.5m in European Social Fund (ESF) monies towards the £3m project, which forms a key element of its Skills Action Plan, part of the LEP’s Economic Recovery Plan – Revive and Renew.
EM3 will support the Hub to focus on technical skills, particularly for the low carbon economy as part of its strategic priorities to drive clean growth, to decarbonise transport and buildings, to pursue a green energy strategy and protect our natural capital. This will include skills at level 4 and above (beyond A level) for delivering energy efficiency, low carbon heat installation, low carbon transport maintenance, and environmental jobs such as land-based rangers.
The Hub will be launched on Monday February 8th at an online event featuring Gillian Keegan MP, Minister of State for Apprenticeships and Skills to mark National Apprenticeship Week. The event has been organised by the Federation of Small Business, the Association of Learning Providers Surrey and the South East Ambassador Network.
The Apprenticeship and Skills Hub will provide an impartial service to support SMEs and other employers to identify and source apprenticeships at all levels to help them develop their workforce to improve productivity and reduce skills gaps.
The EM3 Apprenticeship and Skills Hub builds on a need, identified through research in our Revive and Renew Action Plan, to match employers with people looking to re-skill or start a new apprenticeship. The scheme recognises the urgent need to make it easier for workers to re-skill in areas where there is an identified skills gap and help them back to work as soon as possible.
Councillor Roz Chadd, Hampshire County Council’s Executive Member for Education and Skills, welcomed the announcement.
This is fantastic news. The funding will help us to work with the Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership to develop the Apprenticeship and Skills Hub.
Helping young people to develop core and employability skills to access better jobs in our future economy is a key element within our Employment and Skills Action Plan, developed in response to COVID-19. Additional funding, such as this from the European Social Fund, enables us to provide training linked to meeting skills gaps and apprenticeship opportunities in the local job market. In this way, we can target help to those facing the biggest barriers to employment.
Hampshire County Council successfully bid for the £3 million project to deliver the Apprenticeship and Skills Hub, tendered by the Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership (EM3 LEP) using ESF funding. Over the next three years, the Hub will provide at least 360 small and medium enterprises (SMEs), and other apprenticeship levy-paying employers, with an impartial service to source apprenticeships and develop their workforce to both improve productivity and reduce the skills shortage.
Local businesses in Hampshire and Surrey can access support and request more information by contacting Hampshire County Council’s Skills and Participation Service. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The project is led by Hampshire County Council and involves the Association of Learning Providers Hampshire & Isle of Wight (ALPHI), Association of Learning Providers Surrey (ALPS), Surrey Chamber of Commerce, Federation of Small Business, University of Winchester, University of Surrey, EM3 Growth Hub, Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, Rushmoor Borough Council, Surrey Employment & Skills Board.
The EM3 area is already a leader in the low carbon economy, with 10% of the UK’s low carbon market. Pictured are students receiving education and training in EV car maintenance at Basingstoke College of Technology (BCoT).
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