Colleges secure £2.6m worth of investment for green skills

Nikki Davis

The West Yorkshire Consortium of Colleges (WYCC) will be part of the Government’s plans to boost the nation’s skills and make sure more people can secure good, well-paid jobs closer to where they live.   

The Department for Education says it will invest £2.6m in West Yorkshire’s colleges through the Strategic Development Fund.

It will allow the educators to increase specialist equipment to deliver electric vehicle and retrofit training, grow and embed green knowledge within the curriculum and improve links with businesses to develop and enhance their green skills. 

The Strategic Development Fund was launched in 2021 to help colleges and further education providers transform their facilities and offer high quality technical training that better meet the needs of local employers and boost job opportunities for their communities.

Joanne Patrickson

Project director of the West Yorkshire Consortium of Colleges, Joanne Patrickson, said: “This funding will make a big difference to our colleges and in turn, the businesses and communities in West Yorkshire.

“Part of the funding will be a capital investment into equipment and machinery to allow our colleges to train the workforce in electric vehicle maintenance and retrofitting buildings. 

“All seven of our partner colleges and Notre Dame Sixth Form College will also benefit from internal training and development in Sustainable Development Goals.

“Colleges will be employing dedicated teams to work with businesses in the region to understand what help they need to become more sustainable, and the West Yorkshire Consortium of Colleges will launch The Green Skills Service to help employers access the training and resources they need to take action.” 

Leeds College of Building and Calderdale and Wakefield Colleges are set to receive £800,000 in capital and revenue investment to enhance their courses in retrofit.

This will allow the colleges to develop the right skills for the future of the construction industry.  

Leeds City College, Kirklees, Bradford, Wakefield and Calderdale Colleges will be receiving £1.8m to invest in electric vehicle equipment to improve the student experience and offer hands-on training in the future of the mechanical industry.

The £2.6m is contracted to be spent by 31 March 2023, but this initial investment will allow these new initiatives to establish and offer training that will prepare the workforce for a sustainable future.  

Nikki Davis, principal of Leeds College of Building, said: “This project will enable partners to provide the technology and facilities required as curriculum developments for retrofit and low carbon transport are developed alongside.  

“The project is essential to make progress and we hope it will provide a catalyst for the region, and further support the strong relationships between FE colleges to make a real difference to the employers and communities of West Yorkshire.