Wilberforce and TEC partners lead winning bid

Wilberforce Sixth Form College is poised to benefit from a share of a new £65m government flagship investment programme.

Twelve education providers across the Humber, Lincolnshire and Yorkshire, including Wilberforce, are set to receive a multimillion-pound boost as part of the successful TEC Partnership-led bid to join the Skills Accelerator Programme.

The TEC Partnership, comprises Grimsby Institute, Scarborough TEC, East Riding College and Modal Training,  University of Hull, Bishop Burton, North Lindsey College (part of DN Colleges Group), Selby College, Franklin College, John Leggott College, Wilberforce Sixth Form College and Hull College.

Each provider has been granted the Strategic Development Fund (SDF) as part of the government’s pilot programme, which aims to respond to local priorities for skills and innovation. This includes supporting the development of courses that will provide the skills and education needed for future industries, particularly the use of new fuel technology, green energy, robotics, artificial intelligence and the latest electric vehicle maintenance.

Principal Colin Peaks comments: “We are absolutely delighted to be part of this flagship investment programme. We feel this type of investment can massively support our students with the knowledge and skill set they need for the future.  At Wilberforce College, we offer a wide range of A Level, T Level and BTEC qualifications that are supportive to upskilling students who wish to progress in to this field; Geography, being one of the most popular.”

Exciting plans for the Strategic Development Fund will support and build on the recently announced Humber Freeport, offshore wind industry and green energy industry. We will be undertaking joint staff development within the Advanced Engineering and Manufacturing and Engineering Port and Logistics sectors, SME outreach and STEM careers activities.

Colin goes on to say; “Working collaboratively with local businesses will be key to developing skills and sustainable planning for our local area, alongside a wider range of job opportunities for our students to progress onto in the future. It’s an exciting time for our region and we look forward to working alongside our TEC partners on this programme.”

Dr Ian Kelly, Chief Executive of the Hull & Humber Chamber of Commerce, said: “The Chamber is delighted to hear that TEC Partnership and our FE colleagues have successfully won an SDF bid for the region. I know from other Chambers of Commerce across the UK how competitive this national initiative has been and given the essential skills needs we have to address in “levelling up the Humber” this is really good news.”

James Newman, Chair of Hull and East Yorkshire LEP, also commented: “We are delighted with the outcome of this bidding opportunity, being one of less than 18 successful bids on a national basis. We’d like to congratulate all Humber partners who worked together to ensure the bid reflected the real opportunities for the region – focusing on the green agenda which will create new jobs, further develop the supply chain and add strength to the existing green economy.”