Following the first round of applications to the £50m Growth and Innovation Fund, innovative proposals to deliver world class training in seven leading industries have been selected for further development.
Business planning will now get under way for a new National Skills Academy for Health, which will be led by the Skills for Health Sector Skills Council.
Plans are being developed for existing National Skills Academies to be expanded, with the National Skills Academy for Nuclear embracing nuclear manufacturing and the National Skills Academy for Creative and Cultural Skills expanding into the jewellery, design and heritage industries.
Specific projects with joint employer and public funding are being initiated to boost specialist skills in the fitness and playwork industries.
The above projects will draw on joint funding from employers and the Government, via the Skills Funding Agency.
Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Vince Cable said: “This Government wants business to lead the creation of a world class skills system. I’m pleased that employers have responded by coming forward with innovative ideas for the Growth and Innovation Fund. The fund will target public money, investing alongside business, to deliver workforce skills in new and creative ways.”
Meanwhile, the UK Commission for Employment and Skills is working on the detail of potential public investment in further innovative projects with sectors ranging from agriculture to energy and from hospitality to science-based industries. Further details of Growth and Innovation Fund investment in these projects will be confirmed after the summer.
Minister for Further Education, Skills and Lifelong Learning, John Hayes said: “I first announced the Growth and Innovation fund as part of our Skills Strategy in November 2010. Since then the Government has worked with industry to build the biggest and best apprenticeships programme our country has ever seen, with a new emphasis on advanced skills and high quality training.
“I’m delighted that applicants to the Growth and Innovation Fund have submitted excellent proposals to boost their investment in apprenticeships, and to increase the use of professional standards to improve their industries’ growth prospects.”