Education, Latest News | Posted: Tuesday, June 16th, 2020 at 12:46 pm | return to news

Dorset LEP invests over £700,000 in Bournemouth & Poole College

In an effort to close Dorset’s skill gap, Dorset LEP is investing £712,800 into three facility upgrade projects at Bournemouth & Poole College.

Construction, engineering and digital hubs will be created at Bournemouth & Poole College following Dorset LEP investment
Construction, engineering and digital hubs will be created at Bournemouth & Poole College following Dorset LEP investment

The three key areas in which Dorset needs to skill the future workforce to boost the local economy are construction, design and digital media.

Construction, engineering and digital hubs will be created to focus on employability and enterprise skills, ensuring students are work-ready before they enter industry.

Jim Stewart, Dorset LEP chair, said, “These three projects will help young people more easily find work and stay in the area, which will boost Dorset’s economy. Dorset LEP are committed to investing in local young people and unlocking the area’s talent, making Dorset not only a great place to learn but to also work.”

The construction and engineering project will see an existing workshop refurbished to further increase teaching capabilities for BCP College’s North Road campus. This project has received £610,000 of funding to place all construction wet trades onto one campus while upgrading engineering equipment to extend the level of training offered. For example, investment into the engineering and electronics curriculum will see the introduction of virtual welding systems.

Bringing together plastering, painting, decorating and brickwork will enable the college to increase the number of courses it offers and support the delivery of new T-levels.

Apprentices will acquire an enhanced range of skills, which will impact positively on productivity within local businesses. This is expected to increase the number of employers the college will work with, subsequently increasing the future number of local apprenticeships.

This project started in February and aims to be completed by November 2020.

Secondly, Dorset LEP has awarded £85,928 to the college so it can open a Digital and Enterprise Innovation Hub at both its campuses.

The two new hubs, expected to be open to students from October 2020, will focus on developing employability and enterprise skills for more than 4,000 full-time students and apprentices per year. Therefore, Dorset can expect more productive employees from the onset of employment, reducing the training and mentoring time required

Finally, a further £16,800 will contribute towards the purchase of graphic pen-to-screen tablets for the college’s digital design students. The equipment is expected to be available for student use from October 2020.

Diane Grannell, principal and chief executive of Bournemouth & Poole College, said, “We are very thankful to Dorset LEP for this investment. The new facilities and equipment mean our students can learn in more modern working environments with state-of-the-art equipment. This will increase their employability and progression into relevant industries, improving business productivity.”

In 2015 Bournemouth and Poole was identified as having the fastest growing technology cluster in the UK. In 2017 a report by Tech City UK cited Dorset as having the highest concentration of high growth digital technology businesses in the country.

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