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Collaboration between colleges and councils secures £2.5m for skills in York and North Yorkshire

Working together, a partnership of seven colleges, City of York Council, North Yorkshire Council and Yorkshire Learning Providers, have secured £2.5million of Government funding to bring capital and revenue investment in new technologies to the area.

As highlighted in the York & North Yorkshire Local Skills Improvement Plan, this project is responding to the needs of businesses and skills gaps in the local workforce focusing on digital technologies and the health and social care industry.

Led by York College and University Centre, the partnership, which includes Askham Bryan College, Craven College, Harrogate College (Luminate Group), Scarborough TEC (TEC Partnership), Selby College (Heart of Yorkshire Education Group), Darlington College, City of York Council, North Yorkshire Council and Yorkshire Learning Providers, will invest in new cutting-edge equipment and deliver innovative training as well as design new courses.

The Digital Technology project aims to bring exciting and rapidly advancing virtual reality and immersive technology to enable people to get the skills they need for jobs in York and North Yorkshire’s current and future workforce.

The Health and Social Care project is investing in state-of-the-art, mock learning facilities and improvements to ward settings. Facilities will include digitally enabled manikins that simulate the human body and enable students of all ages to gain much-needed clinical skills.

The project also includes four Health and Social Care forums in different parts of the county where the partnership will bring together businesses and stakeholders to support industry alignment with skills provision and curriculum development.

There will also be a Digital Skills Partnership pilot which will scope out how a new partnership could align and promote digital skills provision in York and North Yorkshire.

Ken Merry, Acting Chief Executive and Principal, said: “We welcome this opportunity to work in partnership right across York and North Yorkshire to invest in innovative technology which will help people in our area get the skills they need for a range of jobs.”

Darlington College Principal and Chief Executive David Gartland added: “We are so pleased our submission has been recognised as meeting the needs of the local labour market. Investment in the delivery of digital skills, such as Virtual Reality Training, Artificial Intelligence and Cyber Security, is very welcome in this fast-moving area. Digital covers almost every employment sector, and the benefit to local industry will be vast."