Greater Lincolnshire and Rutland Colleges team up to secure £3.5m of government funding to bridge the skills gap and boost key industries


COLLEGES across Greater Lincolnshire have joined forces to tackle the widening skills gap after securing millions of pounds of government funding.

TEC Partnership, as lead partner for the Greater Lincolnshire LSIF Partnership, has been allocated a total of over £3.5m by the Department of Education. The move is part of a drive to help people launch careers in key industries, upskill the workforce through innovative projects and boost economic growth across the region.

The funds will support delivery of activities aligned with the Greater Lincolnshire and Rutland Local Skills Improvement Plan, published in August 2023, which identified a host of unfilled opportunities in sectors such as green energy and the digital industry that are carrying thousands of vacancies for skilled staff.

The projects cover Decarbonisation and Green Skills, focusing on Engineering and Low Carbon Technologies, Green Energy and Building Services Engineering; Digitisation and Smarter Working, covering Augmented & Virtual Reality, Cyber Security/Automation/Artificial Intelligence and Digital Production, Design and Development.

There will also be support for a range of projects addressing fundamental issues employers face around employability, working towards the development of a cross-region skills passport to improve work readiness and essential skills, embedding this alongside vocational learning.

The projects will be delivered by a collaborative partnership of Greater Lincolnshire Further Education Providers between September 2023 and March 2025, including:

TEC Partnership, lead partner (Grimsby Institute Campus)
Bishop Burton College (Riseholme Campus)
Boston College
DN Colleges Group
Franklin 6th Form College
Grantham College
Humberside Engineering Training Association (HETA)
Inspire Education Group – Stamford College
John Leggott College
Lincoln College

Chief Executive Officer of the TEC Partnership, Ann Hardy, said., “We’re delighted to be working with business partners and education colleagues across our region to deliver much-needed, targeted investment to fill current and future skills gaps. This funding will help us provide increased skilled employment opportunities for our communities and help local businesses to remain competitive and grow in their respective sectors.”

James McIntosh, CCO, CATCH, added, “CATCH welcomes the UK Government’s commitment to enable colleges and training providers in the region to respond to collectively to meet the skills requirements in the clean growth era. As we approach 2030 and beyond programmes such as LSIF, are essential to help to overcome local skills gaps and provide local people with opportunities to gain education and skills to provide pathways to careers specific to Net Zero industries. We are looking forward to working with TEC Partnership and fellow grant partners to enhance our current capabilities across our apprenticeship provision, ensuring students learn in a live environment leveraging cutting-edge low-carbon technologies that industry will adopt in the near future, with a particular focus on Hydrogen and Carbon Capture Utilisation and Storage”.

Bill Meredith, Principal and Chief Executive Bishop Burton College and Riseholme College said: “Riseholme College (a campus of Bishop Burton College) is delighted to be a partner in the Lincs LSIF and we are excited to be able to further develop our teaching expertise and student experience in augmented and virtual reality with the addition of a VR suite to our Riseholme campus. It is clear that the future workforce will need a very different set of skills from those of the past; all sectors will be looking to recruit employees with the necessary technical skills and knowledge to meet the challenges of the current industrial revolution and as a result of this collaboration we will be able to harness exciting developments such as the use of virtual reality to simulate real working environments.”

Education Secretary Gillian Keegan said the investment was aimed at boosting local industry, building people’s skills and ultimately futureproofing the economy and the career prospects of the next generation.

She said: “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. Thousands more people can now gain the skills they need to secure good jobs closer to home.”

Lisa Buck


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