Chesterfield News

Chesterfield College receive grant to develop Digital Skills Hub

World-class facilities for high-level technical education in the Sheffield City Region (SCR) today received a boost of more than £1.2million in a bid to improve productivity across the region.

Five grants have been approved by the Combined Authority for education centres to purchase advanced equipment needed for learning in science, technology, engineering, and maths – known as ‘STEM’. These higher skills are badly needed in the digital, automotive and construction sectors.

Chesterfield College receives £243,000 to develop a Digital Skills Hub which will teach software, games, networking and hardware development, and develop digital content for college programmes. Over 10 years this will support 5,700 learners with 2,300 estimated to find work subsequently, and provide a £38milion boost to the economy.

Nigel Brewster, Vice Chairman of the SCR’s Local Enterprise Partnership, said:-

“This is a massive boost to productivity across the City Region. Our ethos is about creating jobs and economic growth, and these are just the sort of schemes that will continue putting our economy back on its feet.

“They’re practical, and they are in areas where they will produce results. We’ve worked closely with our partners to underpin their drive to make courses dynamic and fit for the future. We’re providing the equipment for hands-on skills learning.

“It’s an intelligent way to put our funding to use. In the Sheffield City Region, we get things done in an honest, no-nonsense way – this is helping us to build a truly competitive centre of business excellence.”

The Combined Authority also agreed to give £500,000 to Sheffield Hallam University to increase space and equipment for 10,800 learners on digital degree apprenticeship courses over a decade, generating £50million for the economy and seeing an estimated 2,300 being employed subsequently. The university plans to be a ‘business ready’ institution and to launch a centre of excellence for degree apprenticeships.

Students at the RNN Group, (which includes North Notts, Dearne Valley and Rotherham colleges), will soon be working ‘hands-on’ on the futuristic technologies of hybrid and electric vehicles thanks to a £185,000 grant. This will help to fill a shortfall in skilled technicians and provide opportunities for adults looking to re-train or upskill.

The National Fluid Power Centre in Worksop won £132,500 for equipment which will help students receive more in-depth technical training on the advanced integrated systems (combining hydraulics, pneumatics, electronic and controls) used in manufacturing, packaging, control technologies, sensor technology and online monitoring.

And The Sheffield College has been awarded £154,700 to purchase specialist equipment to answer the increased demand in the construction industry for higher level skills in estimating, design, quantity surveying, and site supervision, plus digital ‘literacy’. Some funding will go to simulation software such as a virtual reality welder, and pneumatic and hydraulic simulation.

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