LOCAL communities across the country are set to benefit from a share of £165 million to improve skills training in their area and help get more people into jobs closer to home.

The new funding from the Conservative Government’s Local Skills Improvement Fund will be awarded to further education colleges who can use the money to renovate facilities with up-to-date equipment, help to upskill teachers, and deliver new courses in key subjects.

New courses that will receive extra funding include those providing training in green construction, carbon capture, and cyber security, and those that meet the needs of local employers.

Successful applicants will receive funding to invest in initiatives responding to the priorities in each area’s Local Skills Improvement Plan, created by employer bodies in every region to make sure post-16 technical training responds to local needs.

I would like to take this opportunity to encourage colleges and further education providers across the Forest of Dean to apply for a share of the fund. Providers must apply by Tuesday 20 June. If I can be of any assistance with this, please do get in touch.

The Forest of Dean has already been a beneficiary of government funding to help promote training and the development of new skills in recent years. I helped local building firm K W Bell secure £2 million from the Government’s Getting Building Fund which they have spent on setting up the AccXel Centre in Cinderford – one of the most forward thinking and innovative construction training providers in the country. They welcomed their first apprentices last year.

I hope that more local training providers can benefit from this latest fund just as AccXel did.

The extra investment will provide a boost to local economies, as businesses will have access to the skills they need, delivering on the Prime Minister’s priority to grow the economy, as the Conservative Government works to deliver all five of its priorities: halve inflation, grow the economy, reduce debt, cut waiting lists and stop the boats.

Contact me: [email protected] | www.markharper.org | House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA | @Mark_J_Harper | facebook.com/mark.harper.fod