Hartpury College of Further Education is to receive more than £500,000 of extra Government funding to begin immediate work from this September to repair and refurbish buildings and campuses.
As someone who went to an FE College myself, I’m really pleased to see this funding boost as part of a £200 million package of upgrades for 180 colleges across the country.
The funding marks the latest step in the Government’s drive to overhaul further education and deliver the skilled workforce employers and the economy need, and that will help level up skills and opportunities for more people across the country.
The cash boost forms part of a major £1.5 billion investment that will transform colleges over the next 5 years. This initial investment is being fast-tracked so colleges can kick-start work this year and so students and staff will benefit at least a year earlier than originally planned.
The funding comes ahead of the publication of a White Paper this autumn setting out plans to build a high-quality further education system that will provide the skills that individuals, employers and the economy need to grow and thrive.
Work is already underway to transform technical and vocational education and training in this country, including the introduction of new T Levels from September – high-quality technical courses equivalent to three A levels - and working with employers to create more apprenticeship opportunities.
The Government is also establishing a network of twenty Institutes of Technology. These are collaborations between universities, FE colleges, and leading employers. They specialise in delivering high-quality higher technical education and training in STEM subjects, such as digital, advanced manufacturing and engineering. Backed by up to £290 million in capital funding to help provide cutting-edge industry standard facilities and kit, they will help deliver the skilled workforce employers need.
Later this year, the Government will launch a 2nd competition to ensure that all parts of England are covered by Institutes of Technology, so everyone has the chance to gain higher technical skills and help unlock growth across the country.
I am pictured in pre-Covid times opening Hartpury's College Learning Centre.