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Plymouth Skills Builder initiative to revolutionise workforce training and employment opportunities

Plymouth Skills

City College Plymouth is leading the “Plymouth Skills Builder” initiative, a ground-breaking project funded by Plymouth City Council aimed at revolutionising skills training and employment opportunities in Plymouth.

With a visionary approach to education and community support, this initiative is set to transform the local workforce and contribute to the city’s sustainable development goals.

In conjunction with local partners, Argyle Community Trust, Plymouth Active Leisure and Livewell Southwest, the project is designed to address crucial areas such as confidence building, resilience, essential digital skills, and provides clear pathways from training to employment in key sectors. 

The unique partnership will address where health and wellbeing have been significant barriers for people to gain new skills or get into work. Participants will have a tailored programme that can support fitness, rehabilitation, wellbeing or strength conditioning which will sit alongside training to work and gain new skills.

Through the Plymouth Skills Builder, City College Plymouth is focusing on investing in the future of individuals who are currently distant from the job market. The project stands out for its comprehensive service provision, funded through revenue grants, ensuring that participants receive ongoing support tailored to their unique circumstances.

The project will see a clear focus on the acquisition of digital equipment, directly addressing and mitigating the challenges of digital poverty. This strategic focus on digital inclusivity and access ensures that all students, regardless of their background, can benefit from the latest educational tools and resources.

The initiative is scheduled to run from April 2024 until March 2025, within which City College Plymouth, alongside its partners, will deliver a range of interventions. These include innovative short courses and bespoke training opportunities designed to meet the immediate needs of Plymouth’s workforce, while providing the local population with the skills needed to gain employment.

The project will focus on developing skills linked into sectors where there are currently significant vacancies, specifically in health, construction, engineering and digital careers, with tailored programmes aimed at entry-level participants, career changers, and those aspiring for higher roles.

Pauline Hands, Executive of Health, Leisure & Public Services at City College Plymouth, speaks highly of the initiative, noting: “The Plymouth Skills Builder project marks a pivotal step in our approach to education and training, focusing on inclusivity and accessibility.

“By working closely with our partners, we are addressing critical skills gaps and laying the foundation for a healthier, more skilled workforce. This project underlines our dedication to nurturing talent across Plymouth, ensuring every individual has the opportunity to succeed.”

Mark Lovell, CEO of Argyle Community Trust, commented: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with City College Plymouth and partners to provide people within the city opportunities to develop skills and gain employment through this innovative project. We are looking forward to ensuring that through this project we can assist with people’s careers and life journeys.”

Rhys Jones, Chief Operating Officer for Plymouth Active Leisure, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with City College Plymouth through the Plymouth Skills Builder. We are committed to helping everybody in Plymouth lead healthier and happier lives and we do this by bringing people together socially via physical activity programmes, working to address inequalities and offering jobs and building careers. The Plymouth Skills Builder Project will fit seamlessly into our work and is the next step in our excellent partnership with City College Plymouth.”

Steven Elford, Resourcing and Retention Lead for Livewell Southwest, said: “Our inclusive approach is key to the success of recruiting and engaging with our future workforce. Our relationship with City College Plymouth continues to grow and this project is an essential pipeline that will support and give confidence to individuals at the very beginning of their career in health and social care. Our aim has always been to be an employer of choice and we look forward to seeing some fantastic results.”

As the Plymouth Skills Builder initiative moves forward, City College Plymouth remains dedicated to bridging the gap between potential and opportunity. By adapting existing courses, and introducing new provision, the College is actively engaging with the community to address the skills gap, enhance employability, and foster economic growth.

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