02 June 2011
The Minister of State for Further Education, Skills and Lifelong Learning, John Hayes MP, visited Thanet to learn more about an innovative partnership to boost the area?s workforce skills.
David Smith, Dr Andrew Gower, John Hayes MP, Laura Sandys MP and Cllr Bob Bayford
Canterbury Christ Church University and Thanet College already enjoy a successful relationship and are now looking to build on this by proposing a new Higher and Further Education partnership model that specifically responds to local skills opportunities and need.
Together Christ Church and Thanet College will work to provide new courses to help train local people in the skills necessary to deliver the Green Deal.
The Green Deal is a Coalition Government programme that aims to radically overhaul the energy efficiency of households and businesses by offering finance upfront to complete work that will help save carbon and reduce energy bills. In doing so a potential quarter of a million jobs in green energy could be developed around the country.
The proposed new courses by the University and the College will help to build a skilled, local workforce in jobs needed to deliver the Green Deal, such as home insulation, solar panel fixing, as well as specifically looking at the needs of regenerating many listed and historic buildings in the Thanet area.
After the meeting the Minister said: “It is encouraging to see institutions working together to respond to local needs and deliver the Green Deal. We are keen to ensure that future generations have the right skills to take advantage of the opportunities of the green economy, which will support growth and jobs.
“The Government is committed to delivering a Further Education system that responds more effectively and efficiently to the needs of learners, employers and local communities, nurturing sustainable growth and social renewal.”
The meeting on Tuesday, hosted by Thanet College, was also attended by local MP Laura Sandys and Thanet District Council Leader, Cllr Bob Bayford, along with the Skills Funding Agency and Institute for Sustainability.
Laura Sandys MP, who has already shown her support for the new proposed partnership, said: “By re-fitting our most inefficient housing stock with energy saving devices, the Green Deal has the potential to create up to 250,000 jobs. However, the UK will need to develop a workforce with real expertise and skills in the renewable sector if it is to realise its environmental ambitions. There is no doubt that - as leaders in Higher Education provision - Thanet College and Canterbury Christ Church are best placed to develop the regional skills capacity."
"We in Thanet need to tap into this emerging green market. Following today's meeting, the Minister was left in no doubt that Thanet is the ideal regional hub for the Green Deal. By benefiting from the opportunities attached to the Government's green policies, we can help local people into employment and boost Thanet's economic growth and productivity."
Thanet Council, meanwhile, is instrumental in the regeneration agenda, supporting this critical partnership for future economic prosperity and environmental sustainability.
Dr Andrew Gower, Vice Principal for the College, said: “We are delighted to be working even more closely with Canterbury Christ Church University to deliver new courses to provide new skills and opportunities for tomorrow’s students.
“The visit provided an opportunity to share with the Minister the active ways in which Thanet College is meeting the further education skills and training needs of East Kent, by working in partnership with an extensive array of employers.”
David Smith, Pro Vice-Chancellor (External Relations) at Canterbury Christ Church University, commented: “We would like to thank the Minister for taking the time to meet with us and hear our exciting and innovative plans for the future of East Kent Further and Higher Education.
“Both institutions already deliver courses that enable many local people to pursue careers in our essential public services and regional businesses, which inevitably help to help regenerate our communities. We are very excited to be developing our partnership with Thanet College and to draw on our joint resources to provide new opportunities to further develop a local skilled workforce.”
Notes to Editor
Canterbury Christ Church University
Canterbury Christ Church University is a modern university with a particular strength in higher education for the public services. With nearly 18,000 students, and five campuses across Kent, its courses span a wide range of academic and professional expertise.
- In 2010 the Faculty of Education’s Initial Teacher Education received top grades in its Ofsted report for primary, secondary and post-compulsory programmes, together with its employment-based routes into teaching. The University’s primary provision has the unique record of having been awarded the highest Ofsted grades in all inspections since 1996.
- Over 90 per cent of our graduates gain employment or are in further study in the first six months after graduating.
- Along with over a thousand undergraduate, postgraduate and professional training courses on offer, we are also home to world-leading and internationally recognised research in Education, History, Music and Sports Related Studies.
- Canterbury Christ Church University was founded in 1962 by the Church of England as a teacher training college.