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The Corporation

Posted: 21/01/16

Employers urged to help shape higher-level skills landscape

Employers are being invited to shape the future of skills in Nottinghamshire and have their say on the training that would benefit their workforce.

Visual impression of the new Vision University Centre.

It comes courtesy of a business breakfast being staged by West Nottinghamshire College on Tuesday 9 February to update employers on a new £6.5 million university centre currently being built at its Derby Road campus in Mansfield.

Part-funded by a £2.6 million grant from the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership, the flagship facility opens its doors in September and forms part of an ambitious plan to boost access to higher education (HE) and advanced-level skills amongst local communities.

Many of the courses to be offered at the state-of-the-art Vision University Centre will be tailored to meet the needs of businesses in the area – enabling them to up-skill their workforce while developing the highly-trained talent pool to achieve future growth and prosperity.

In addition to expanding its already-successful HE provision – which includes HNCs, HNDs, foundation degrees and full-honours degrees – the college will offer a wider range of professionally-certified qualifications such as AAT, CIPD, CIM and CIPS, along with Higher Apprenticeships, one-day ‘masterclasses’ and professional development programmes.

Many courses will run at evenings and weekends so that small businesses do not need to release staff during the day – while for larger groups of students, training can be delivered in the workplace. 

The breakfast event, which runs from 8-10am at Derby Road, will feature a host of expert speakers from the college, business, and education and skills sector bodies. As well as seeking employers’ views on what it is planning, the college is asking them to influence provision as the project progresses.

Eleanor Taylor, the college’s head of HE and international, will outline the training on offer to local firms, while Tracy Walker, group training and development manager at Center Parcs, will give an employer’s perspective on the business benefits.

The Association of Colleges’ senior skills policy manager, Theresa Frith, will join the college’s director of business development and employer engagement, Sacha McCarthy, in discussing how companies can develop their future leaders through Higher Apprenticeships.

Meanwhile, director of marketing and learner engagement at the college, Louise Knott, will explain the professional development programmes available to employers, before D2N2 business adviser Joanne Maltby sets out the funding that can be accessed for skills training.

Ms Taylor said: “We’re keen to share our exciting plans with local employers and, more importantly, hear their views on what they want from the new university centre. Increasing local access to higher-level skills is absolutely crucial to business success and economic prosperity – that’s why we’re asking employers to join us right at the beginning of the project.

“This is a unique opportunity for them to tell us what types of training they’d like to see delivered and help influence the future skills landscape across Mansfield and Ashfield.”

Businesses can book their free place by calling Tina Wakelin on 01623 627191 ext. 8377 or emailing tina.wakelin@wnc.ac.uk