D2N2

D2N2 LEP launches new Low Carbon Growth Fund

Small and medium-sized businesses, public sector organisations, and community groups developing low carbon projects across Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham, and Nottinghamshire are being urged to apply for investment through the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership’s new Low Carbon Growth Fund.

The ground-breaking fund will invest £6.5 million in low carbon capital projects. They will create a pipeline of investable propositions that can be match funded to help our region meet high carbon dioxide output challenges and unclean industrial practices.

Through the funding, the D2N2 LEP aims to support a wide range of innovative low carbon projects from across Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire. Successful projects must identify new and innovative ideas, and must be able to clearly demonstrate current or future carbon reduction, including carbon sequestration.

Projects awarded funding will be encouraged to support local supply chains, helping to create new jobs and must be able to start delivery in the 2022/23 financial year. Funding will be capped at £1.5 million of D2N2 funding per project to enable the pot to invest in numerous key strategic investments.

The fund will support national and regional policy, including HM Government’s “Net Zero Strategy: Build Back Greener” and the “The Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution.” Both set out ambitious targets for carbon reduction and incentivise investment in the public and private sector into green and carbon saving projects.

Elizabeth Fagan CBE, Chair of the D2N2 LEP, said: “The recent COP 26 UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow highlighted the urgent need to take action now. The launch of our Low Carbon Growth Fund signals our region’s commitment to reduce carbon emissions and support the growth of our green economy.

“Investing in low carbon capital projects will support the delivery of our Recovery and Growth Strategy and our strategic aim of delivering the UK’s largest carbon turnaround.”

Timelines

  • Expression of interest documentation publicised, and consultation process opened – 1st December 2021
  • Consultation for project sponsors to be closed – 12th January 2022
  • Submission deadline for all bids – 28th January 2022
  • Scoring process finalised – 11th February 2022
  • Projects informed of outcomes – 14th February 2022

An overview of the funding can be found here: Low Carbon Growth Fund | D2N2 (d2n2lep.org)

Should any potential project sponsor have a query about the call or any details relevant to this funding round then please contact Tom Goshawk at Tom.goshawk@d2n2lep.org or 07528398317. All questions and queries regarding this funding round must be made before the 12th of January 2022.

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D2N2 LEP launches new strategy on international trade and investment

The D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership, in partnership with the Department for International Trade (DIT) has published a new report outlining how the region can build its competitiveness, drive productivity and create more jobs by increasing international trade.

D2N2 Global: International Trade Strategy sets out the region’s ambition to increase the percentage of D2N2 businesses that export goods and services.

It identifies key strategic priorities and actions to ensure that the business community can become more confident and active in overseas markets. It also identifies a range of emerging markets that D2N2 businesses can explore further. These market requirements match the strengths in the region.

By connecting these strengths with potential growth markets the region can grasp the opportunities available through the UK’s new trading relationships and being at the forefront of “Global Britain”. The report, which is funded by DIT has been developed to align with Government’s new Trade and Export strategy, Made in the UK, sold to the World.

Elizabeth Fagan, Chair of the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “In 2020, the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership launched its Recovery and Growth Strategy to ensure we build a stronger economy and deliver more investment and jobs.

“With our strategy in place, our strong partnerships and investments in skills, business support and innovation, we think now is a perfect time to look to the future and create more outward trade for our region.

“Our International Trade strategy sets out a clear evidence base on the challenges and the actions required to support our businesses to grow and create new export-oriented jobs for our region.”

Ian Harrison, Head of Export, DIT Midlands said: “The D2N2 LEP’s International Trade strategy represents an innovative approach to aligning its priorities with this the strategic Global Britain vision to help achieve strategic international trade outcomes. We are particularly pleased to be support its launched during this inaugural International Trade Week.

“The support for the development of this strategy was enabled through DIT’s Levelling-Up funding for the Midlands and the regional team has worked in partnership with the LEP in developing their approach. DIT Midlands very much welcome the opportunity to continue to work closely with the LEP to assist with its implementation.”

The International Trade Strategy has been produced by Deyton Bell, independent economic development consultants working closely with key partners across the region.

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D2N2 Growth Hub launches phase 2 of the Peer Networks Programme

The D2N2 Growth Hub Peer Networks programme is set to be repeated following a successful first phase which supported almost 300 businesses.

The Peer Networks programme is led jointly by the D2N2 Growth Hub and East Midlands Chamber of Commerce. It works by bringing together individuals from different businesses to share ideas, discuss challenges and ultimately, develop and find solutions from peers.

Each cohort is guided by an expert facilitator and includes groups of individuals who collaboratively work through common business issues, using interactive action learning, we to discuss challenges, gain and reflect on valuable feedback and implement practical solutions.

The results are hugely beneficial, giving participants the flexibility to create a trusted support network, helping you to build and strengthen their business and improve its overall performance.

Phase two will start in July and will include the following groups:

  • Manufacturing
  • Hospitality and visitor economy
  • Creative industries
  • Medtech and life sciences
  • Food and drink
  • Women owned businesses
  • High growth businesses
  • High growth: leadership and management
  • High growth: women owned
  • High growth: sales
  • High growth: digital

To be eligible for the programme, your business must be an SME which fits the following criteria:

  • Operated for at least one year
  • At least five employees
  • A turnover of at least £100,000
  • An aspiration to improve
  • The potential to scale up or export or is exporting already
  • Not already accessed the Peer Networks programme

Peer Networks are fully funded so there is no cost to the business, just a time commitment of approximately 18 hours across the duration of the programme.

Vicki Thompson, Business Training Manager at East Midlands Chamber said: “We are delighted to be able to offer to businesses across the D2N2 area the opportunity to access the Peer Network Programme again.

“The impact phase one of this programme had in supporting businesses during a time of such uncertainty cannot be underestimated and as we move forward along the government roadmap, we are again able to offer support and guidance through this highly impactful programme, bringing businesses together to form long and lasting support networks – it’s a very exciting time!”

Find out more and register your interest in joining a network. 

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Local leaders to guide green growth and recovery in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire

As the UK transitions to a low carbon economy there are significant opportunities arising at pace from the changes to technology, methods of production and forms of consumption.

In response the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership has established a new Low Carbon Growth Group.

The group will convene and coordinate low carbon activity and programmes aimed at delivering opportunities for investment, business growth and jobs across Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire (D2N2).

The formation of the group comes as the Confederation of British Industry has set out its new UK Economic Strategy which emphasises decarbonisation as a critical factor in the UK’s economic recovery.

The new group aims to build on the LEPs ambitious plans to deliver the largest turnaround in carbon emissions in England, as part of its recovery and growth strategy. The group will also deliver on the goals of the UK’s Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution.

The group will be chaired jointly by Becky Rix, D2N2 Board member and Marketing Director at Roadgas and Wayne Bexon, Interim Corporate Director for Growth and City Development at Nottingham City Council. Other members include representatives from a wide range of key local private and public sector organisations

On the group’s agenda is:

• Supporting the region to reach net zero
• Developing and enhancing greater coordination of low carbon investment plans
• Developing a portfolio of development opportunities to attract more government and private sector investment in the area.

Sajeeda Rose, Chief Executive at D2N2 said: “Underpinning the D2N2 Recovery and Growth strategy is our ambition to achieve the highest turnaround in carbon emissions in the country. Bringing together some of the region’s most influential experts to form the Low Carbon Recovery Group will provide the vision and action needed as our economy retools and moves towards a carbon-free tomorrow”

Becky Rix said: “I am delighted to be co-chairing the Low Carbon Growth Group and sharing my experience as we look for opportunities to deliver a low carbon agenda for the region. I think this as a very exciting time to be participating in the delivery of future developments as we focus on growth and a green recovery. I am looking forward to learning more about the opportunities and challenges, listening and learning from colleagues and ensuring collaboration for all interested stakeholders.”

Wayne Bexton said: “A Green Recovery has been referenced throughout the pandemic and this new group brings together expertise from across the private and public sector to target low carbon initiatives via a joined up approach. There is a unique opportunity ahead for carbon neutrality to be achieved alongside economic growth and Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire can be at the forefront for the UK on this agenda”.

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New report sets out the region’s skills strengths and actions to address the skills needs in the wake of Covid-19

A new report from the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has highlighted the need for action to make sure everyone has the skills which will allow them to get good jobs, both now and in the future —and how it will also help the region address other issues from climate change to regional inequality.

With just over a year since the UK went into lockdown, the Covid-19 pandemic continues to have a significant impact across Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham, and Nottinghamshire, further exposing the persistent productivity gap and skills lag in the region and with employment losses more pronounced than many parts of the UK.

The rapidly increasing demand for new technological and digital skills – central to the region’s aspiration for low carbon and inclusive growth and essential to remote working and access to upskilling in our rural communities – were already having unsettling consequences for the local economy before the pandemic.

While the impact of Covid-19 has been uneven with the most significant impacts to service, manufacturing, hospitality and retail, there is clear evidence that recent progress across the region in increasing skills and employment levels may be slowed or reversed without the introduction of effective measures at both a national and local level.

The D2N2 LEP, in its capacity as organiser of the regions Skills Advisory Panel (SAP), has brought together employers, skills providers and key local stakeholders to better understand and resolve these skill mismatches at a local level and make recommendations for change.

The D2N2 Local Skills Report will be essential to the regions skills recovery to offset these challenges and ‘building back better’. It will require business leaders, educators, and national and regional governments to come together and collaborate to build more inclusive and sustainable economies and societies. The report is a catalyst for action to help those who have been made redundant or at risk of unemployment and support young people and businesses that have been disproportionately affected.

Government: Provide funding continuity; increase access to reskilling; increase SAPs’ role in skills provision and funding.
Post-16 Skills Providers: Coordinate with our priorities; build collaborative skills pathways; embed digital and low carbon skills in all learning pathways.
Schools: Provide senior support of Careers activity; promote higher technical skills pathways; embed careers inspiration and core digital skills in the curriculum.
Local Authorities: Support our strategy in your areas; continue collaborating with us and each other; facilitate relationships between local employers and schools.
Employers and BROs: Make skills core to recovery and growth planning; engage with the skills system to develop the future workforce; support your workers in retraining, reskilling and upskilling.

Professor Shearer West CBE, Chair of the D2N2 People and Skills Board, said: “This report showcases the work of D2N2 in People and Skills, by providing an overview of our strategy and an assessment of progress to date. As SAP Chair, I feel it is vital to ensure that our growing knowledge of trends and challenges affecting jobs and skills in D2N2 reaches the widest possible audience. This will help us drive necessary change both locally and nationally, as well as providing the leadership and focus for strategic responses with genuine impact. I would like to thank our colleagues at the University of Derby, who partnered with the D2N2 LEP on the development of this report, as well as all the partners in the D2N2 area who have contributed to it.”

Rachel Quinn, Head of People of Skills at D2N2 LEP, said: “This report’s aim is simple, to help improve the chances of our people in securing the jobs and careers to which they aspire, a crucial element in driving up their quality of life, and for our businesses to find the skills they need to grow and compete in an increasingly global economy. Our report set out the local strengths and skills needs and how the SAP proposes its area addresses its key priorities, identifies, and delivers on its priorities.

“The DfE’s recent White Paper set out a number of reforms aimed at putting employers more firmly at the heart of the skills system. As we develop our local response to the White Paper, our SAP and our Local Skills Report will be vital for coordinating the region’s skills response as our economy recovers.”

The full report can be accessed via d2n2lep.org/d2n2-lep-launches-local-skills-report

 

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£2 million ‘Taste Local’ scheme to support more than 1,500 people across the D2N2 region

DBC Training, working in partnership with Orbital Recruitment have been allocated £2m of European Social & Investment Funds (ESIF) to deliver the ‘Taste Local’ programme in the D2N2 region.

Taste Local is exclusive to the region and will provide valuable investment in skills and recruitment to help support unemployed people into Food & Drink sector jobs– unlocking new opportunities and supporting over 1500 local people to upskill, re-skill and gain employment to provide a boost to the economic prosperity of the region and help with the Covid recovery.

Taste Local will offer fully-funded training for D2N2 residents to help improve their employability and support business’ recovery at this challenging time. This includes bespoke packages of employment, skills and recruitment solutions at no cost to your business.

Courses/Services include (but are not limited to):

  • Basic Food Hygiene
  • Food Safety
  • Standards & Certification
  • Health & Safety in the workplace
  • Bespoke modules such as Butchery / Bakery
  • Access to additional funding such as Kickstart & Apprenticeship incentives
  • Recruitment and HR support from Orbital

Kerry Bentley, Managing Director at DBC Training said: “We are delighted to launch the Taste Local programme and offer new investment for our region’s businesses in this growing sector, whilst also improving the skills and employment prospects of 1500 local D2N2 residents. This really couldn’t come at a better time as we look to support our region and local economy to recover, rebound and thrive following the pandemic”.

Mark Burton Director at Orbital Recruitment added, ‘This last year has been challenging in so many ways but as an established business owner in the D2N2 area we are delighted to help support our community with our contribution to post Covid regeneration. The Taste Local project is a fantastic opportunity to access free training and recruitment at a time when the food and drink sector needs it most.’

For more details contact DBC Training directly at info@dbc-training.co.uk or 01332 295 588.

DBC Training supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through  Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 180 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

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Fortem tackles youth unemployment with flexible work experience programme

Fortem have launched a virtual work experience programme, in partnership with the North Derbyshire Careers Hub (D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership), to help tackle rising youth unemployment as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The five-day virtual work experience (VWEX) programme prepares young people aged 14+ for the next steps of their career journey, raises aspirations and promotes inclusivity for all through the flexible delivery methods.

Fortem have developed a model which is easily adaptable and can be delivered online or offline, depending on the circumstances and needs of young people. Consisting of five modules; IT, innovation, customer care, design and planning, the programme helps young people identify transferable skills and how to put them into practice.

Since the start of COVID-19, the UK has seen a significant impact on 16-24-year-old unemployment. Comparing the latest quarter, September-November 2020, with the pre-pandemic quarter of January-March 2020, unemployment for young people has increased by 13%, and is set to rise with the impending pressures on the economy. 2020 saw the highest level of youth unemployment since 2016.

Findings from a YouGov poll for the Sutton Trust social mobility charity state that opportunities for young people to get experience of the workplace have also been impacted considerably by the COVID-19 crisis. Many firms who previously offered internships or work experience placements have cancelled them, with just over three fifths (61%) of employers surveyed cancelling some or all of their placements.

Leigh Garbutt, Head of Customer Experience at Fortem, said “At Fortem we don’t leave anyone behind so it was important that we created a virtual work experience programme that could be easily adapted to suit individual needs. We work closely with our clients and partners in the education sector to ensure that our offer is relevant and can really benefit our communities. Delivering people-focused opportunities like this are at the heart of Fortem’s culture and we are dedicated to continuing our commitment to supporting young people.”

The work experience programme not only gives students valuable work experience and an insight into the world of work, it also helps to achieve Gatsby Benchmark 6. Gatsby Benchmarks are a set of eight benchmarks that schools and colleges can use as a framework for improving their careers provision and is widely adopted as best practice. Read more about the benchmarks here.

Emily Carter, Enterprise Coordinator at North Derbyshire Careers Hub – D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership, said “It has been a privilege to work in partnership with Fortem on their exciting new virtual work experience offer. The flexibility in delivery of this programme will help to reduce barriers to engagement and promote transferable skills in an interactive way for young people.”

Following a successful pilot of the programme at Career Hub school, Springwell Community College in Chesterfield, a feedback survey found that 100% of students found the programme enjoyable and would recommend it to their friends and family, while 78% feel better informed about future opportunities within the industry. Fortem are refurbishing properties across Chesterfield as part of the council’s commitment to investing in its housing stock.

Councillor Amanda Serjeant, Deputy Leader of Chesterfield Borough Council, said, “Developing the skills young people have is vital to ensuring they can enter the workforce after they finish their education and is one of our key priorities as a local council. It’s brilliant to see partnerships like this forming and delivering meaningful outcomes for young people in Chesterfield.

“Our local labour clauses have helped ensure that all new development in Chesterfield has real employability benefits for the local community and this work experience programme is just one of many successful examples of this policy in action.”

For more information on the virtual work experience programme, please contact Rebecca Goodwin, Fortem’s Regional Customer and Community Manager, on Rebecca.Goodwin@fortem.co.uk.

The topic of skills and careers for young people was recently on the agenda at the Chesterfield and North Derbyshrie Employability & Skills Conference. You can find out more about the event and watch it back here.

Fortem supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 180 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

 

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£500,000 support boost for Derbyshire manufacturers

Small to medium-sized manufacturers in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire have received a £500,000 support boost to help them overcome challenges and make the most of new opportunities.

The Manufacturing Growth Programme (MGP), which has already supported over 600 companies in other areas of the East Midlands, has agreed a deal with D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership to provide specialist assistance to firms in the two counties.

Manufacturing firms can now access a dedicated Manufacturing Growth Manager, who will use the GROWTHMapper benchmarking tool to identify pain points within the business, before delivering grants that can help support a third of the total cost of the business improvement project up to a maximum £10,000.

This new support covers manufacturing efficiencies, strategic marketing, new product development and leadership and management, with the programme due to help more than 85 business between now and June 2023.

It is anticipated that this manufacturing driven assistance will create 111 new jobs and 28 new product launches.

Martin Coats, Managing Director of the Manufacturing Growth Programme, commented: “This is excellent news for SME manufacturers in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire and comes at a time when they will need access to industry specialists to overcome issues around Brexit and Covid-19.

“We have proven how successful this type of support, delivered by experts from the manufacturing sector, can be in Leicestershire, Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire. Across these three areas we have created nearly 700 new jobs and completed 805 improvement projects, helping many firms fulfil their potential.”

He continued: “Thanks to the backing of the D2N2 LEP, we can now give this targeted assistance to companies locally, making sure they are competitive in the sectors they have an undeniable edge in, including aerospace, automotive, food and drink, medical and rail.

“Each project is tailored to the individual company, so it has the biggest impact. Our Manufacturing Growth Managers are also very well connected and can link in management teams to other business support, funding or even supply chain opportunities.”

Mickleover-based Devtank is one of the companies that has welcomed the support boost, citing the need for manufacturers to have tailored assistance that will allow them to scale-up.

The open source test and measurement business currently supplies clients in defence, green energy, space and telecoms and has developed a range of products that help businesses automate their production testing and smart monitoring solutions.

“We are scaling rapidly and just about to launch a dedicated product page/e-commerce shop on our website, not to mention looking at ways where we can maximise our recent approval as a design partner for the Raspberry Pi Foundation,” pointed out Tim Telford, Chief Technical Officer at Devtank.

“The Manufacturing Growth Programme coming to this region means the right support will be available for us at the right time and I’m sure it will be beneficial to many other local businesses at this time of real need during the covid-19 recovery phase.

“Having access to dedicated manufacturing support is essential in helping us thrive. The last few years has seen us develop a number of new products and we have reinvested every last penny and more into the business. Being able to secure grants and specialist external assistant to capitalise on this investment is great news and will enable us to take the next step.”

Frank Horsley, Head of Business & Innovation at D2N2 LEP, concluded: “We are delighted to support the extension of the highly successful programme into our region.

“Manufacturing remains the historic bedrock of the D2N2 economy. If we are to transform into a more competitive, but greener economy, our manufacturers will need support to embrace the challenges of industrial digitalisation and net zero so that, similar to the first industrial revolution, we can lead the world.

“We look forward to bringing our strategic influence and partnership network to bear to ensure our businesses have the opportunity to benefit from the excellent support MGP can deliver.”

The Manufacturing Growth Programme, which is funded by ERDF and delivered by Oxford Innovation Services, is open to all manufacturing SMEs in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire that employ less than 250 people or have a turnover below £36m.

To apply for grant funding, please use the online eligibility checker.

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D2N2 Growth Hub Launches Peer Network Programme

The D2N2 Growth Hub launches it’s Peer Network programme which aims to bring together diverse cohorts of SMEs to work together collaboratively to discuss challenges, share feedback and devise practical solutions.

The programme, which is being delivered locally by a network of Growth Hubs, forms part of the Government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing EU transition. It seeks to improve the resilience of SMEs, their capability to adapt their business models to the “new normal” and position themselves for future success, driving longer-term productivity gains.

The programme, which will be delivered by a network skilled facilitators, will consist of the following sector based Peer Networks:

  • Manufacturing
  • Hospitality and Visitor Economy
  • Creative Industries
  • Life Sciences
  • Retail
  • Construction
  • Food and Drink
  • Social/Healthcare

The Growth Hub will also deliver the following mixed-sector groups:

  • High growth businesses
  • Women-owned businesses
  • BAME businesses
  • High growth businesses with a focus on digital (technology, cyber security)
  • High growth businesses with a focus on leadership and management
  • High growth businesses with a focus on sales/e-commerce

Each of the above networks will bring together groups of 11 SMEs which will run from January to March 2021. In total 18 hours of Peer Network support will be provided to each business with an additional 3.5 hours of one to one support. The key benefits to businesses are:

  • Overcoming business challenges and recognising new opportunities
  • Build a trusted network of connections
  • Improving long-term personal and business performance
  • Achieving higher turnover, employment levels and productivity growth – as research indicates for businesses adopting formal management practices

Chris Pook, D2N2 Growth Hub Manager said: “The Peer Networks are a welcome addition to the wealth of business support already delivered via the Growth Hub. This tried and tested action learning methodology will provide added value to the businesses involved, especially during these challenging economic times.”

For more information and to register your interest in joining a network please click here.

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Chesterfield College awarded £500,000 towards centre of excellence focusing on modern construction and digital technologies.

A new Centre of Excellence focusing on modern construction and digital technologies will be built at Chesterfield College after the scheme was awarded a £500,000 grant from the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

The investment will support the D2N2 LEP’s vision of greener homes and technology, along with more energy-efficient public building; with construction being one of the most important sectors to the regional economy.

The project is one of ten across Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham, and Nottinghamshire which has received funding from D2N2’s £44 million share of the government’s £900 million Getting Building Fund.

The programme of investment is being used to improve digital infrastructure; support skills and career opportunities; and the transition to a low carbon economy to drive economic growth following the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

The funding award will allow Chesterfield College to create a new centre where local students will be able to learn state-of-the-art techniques such as Building Information Modelling and Virtual and Augmented reality.

The new centre, which will be housed in pre-existing premises owned by the college, will complement the current curriculum being delivered to teach advanced manufacturing and building techniques. It will offer learners the opportunity to develop the skills which employers need to meet current and future demands in their sector.

It’s hoped that these new skills will enhance learners employment and career development opportunities as well as their earning potential. The facility will also support the growing demand from employers for a workforce well versed in new technologies and construction methods..

With funding for the £875,000 facility now secured work will begin on the site ready to accept learner by April 2021.

The Centre of Excellence is just the latest capital investment D2N2 has made in Chesterfield and follows recent investments into the construction of the Hollis Lane Link Road, the station area redevelopment, and the Revitalising the Heart of Chesterfield project totalling £6.85 million.

D2N2 Chair Elizabeth Fagan CBE said: “Through the Getting Building Fund, D2N2 is investing in projects that will drive the regeneration of our regional economy, adapt to new opportunities, and create a more resilient economy for everyone.”
“I’m pleased D2N2 has been able to invest in this Centre of Excellence at Chesterfield College. Ensuring our workforce has the skills to take advantage of ever more sophisticated and greener construction methods is an essential part of our vision for a cleaner and more sustainable economy.”

David Malone, Deputy Principal of the Chesterfield College Group said: “This funding will allow us to give local people the chance to develop the skills they need to be competitive in the job market as demands of the construction and engineering sector change.
“The Centre of Excellence will allow us to enhance what we already offer students and apprentices and ensure employers have access to a talent pool of people with the skills they need. We are excited to be able to bring together expertise in digital technology with modern construction in one purpose built facility and we look forward to welcoming the first students through the doors in 2021.”

Minister for Regional Growth and Local Government, Luke Hall MP said: “We’re supporting students across the country gain the skills they need to succeed in today’s new and emerging industries.
“That’s why we’re supporting Chesterfield College’s Centre of Excellence with a £500,000 Getting Building Fund investment.

“The innovative new facilities will allow local people to progress to high quality, well paid jobs while also meeting the recruitment demands of the region’s businesses.”

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Chesterfield businesses urged to back virtual work experience programme

Businesses across North Derbyshire are being invited to support an ambitious work experience programme aimed at providing 600 placements for young people in the area. In this fast changing world, young people need an insight to the world of work to help prepare them for the future and raise their aspirations.

In the current climate, the ability to go and physically visit workplaces has all but disappeared. North Derbyshire Careers Hub and the D2N2 Enterprise Adviser Network has teamed up with the national charity Speakers for Schools to develop a solution – Virtual Work Experience – to ensure that all schools across D2N2 have the chance to provide their students with a virtual work experience opportunity.

Speakers for Schools was founded in 2010 by ITV’s Political Editor Robert Peston with a mission to level the playing field for young people. The charity aims to end educational inequality by giving access to the same networks as the top fee-paying schools in the UK through inspirational talks and broadcasts, employer insight days and work placements, and meaningful discounts and life-preparing opportunities.

Find out more

Interested businesses can find out more about the programme by signing up to a Virtual Work Experience (VWEX) Information Event targeted for Derby and Derbyshire

Businesses will hear more from Speakers for Schools Head of Region (Midlands) Sarah Cleverley, about how simple it is to be involved and offer valuable insights of your businesses to the young people of D2N2 and your future workforce.

The North Derbyshire Careers Hub was launched in January 2020 and has developed an effective partnership between employers and careers leaders in schools and colleges to drive forward careers education.

It is managed by the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership along with the Careers and Enterprise Company. Dan Heffernan, D2N2 Careers Hub Lead, said:“ We are very excited to be joining up with Speakers for Schools to help young people in our region enjoy a high quality virtual experience of the world of work.

“This project will form one part of our wider virtual offer for schools and colleges across D2N2 – and as we continue to learn and adapt to the ‘new normal’ we are as committed as ever to providing as much support to the regions young people as possible.

“We have made this process as straight forward as possible, and all we ask is that any business that wants to get involved is prepared to take a little time out of their working week to help our young people get experience and knowledge of real world working environments.”

Jason Elsom, Chief Executive Officer, Speakers for Schools, said: “In an unprecedented year for schools, employers and most importantly, young people, Speakers for Schools is committed to levelling the playing field for school students of all backgrounds.

“This new partnership with D2N2 LEP and The North Derbyshire Careers Hub will enable us to work closely with schools and leading companies across Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire to provide high quality work placements.”

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