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Extension to construction facilities in Folkestone, East Kent College

Extension to Construction facilities in Folkestone to support economic growth and address local and regional skills shortages, including heritage construction skills.

Project Summary

  • Extension to construction facilities in Folkestone as current facilities at capacity and demand from employers was unmet
  • Delivering training in construction
  • Supporting 100 additional learners per year including apprenticeships

The project will provide for 1,089m2 of new build accommodation to extend the existing construction facilities at the College’s Folkestone campus, as part of an overall master plan for the site. The current facilities are at capacity and demand from both individuals and employers cannot currently be met.

The investment responds to regional and local demand for construction skills, higher value jobs, and the reduction of NEETs and unemployment, as identified in SELEP’s Strategic Economic Plan and Skills Strategy, and also Local and District Authority strategies and plans. In addition the project will address skills shortages in heritage construction skills, supporting the renovation and maintenance of housing, buildings of historical interest, and the local tourism sector.

The new extension will enable the College to respond to demand, whilst improving the student and employer experience, providing high quality technical education.

Skills Capital Fund

Some background to the South East LEP (SELEP) skills capital funding:

SELEP received a total allocation of £22m Skills Capital Funding from the Skills Funding Agency (SFA) for the period April 2015-April 2017 to support the building, refurbishment and equipment purchase. This has enabled 29 projects which were funded across four funding rounds, with roughly a 50% match funding contribution from local authorities, colleges and the private sector.

Projects were aligned to growth sectors across the LEP area to deliver significant number of qualifications, apprenticeships and provide industry relevant, leading edge facilities. Bids had to illustrate support for NEET (‘Not in Education, Employment, or Training’) and unemployed learners.

Ahead of SELEP Accountability Board approvals, all bids for funding went through a skills evaluation process with input from representatives from each of the federated Employment and Skills Boards to ensure a fit with growth sectors as well as SFA or independent evaluation.

Indicative figures illustrate that until 2021, across the projects, there will be delivery of:

  • at least an additional 15,000 full time qualifications
  • 7,300 additional apprenticeships
  • approximately 21,527m2 of new and improved learning and training floor space and facilities will be in place by April 2017.
  • additional numbers of adult learners will also be supported, with final figures being finalised
  • Skills - Equipment & Refurbishment (SCF)
Funding value: £1.36m
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