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The South East of England Development Agency (SEEDA) is providing £200,000 to fund an essential training programme that meets the needs of the composites industry, critical to the economic success of the region.
Employers in the sector have a pressing demand for the specialised training, which is only currently supplied by a few local providers. Cogent is the national skills council for the composites sector, and through its research it identified an urgent need to upskill the composites sector workforce. It will lead on the development of the programme which will boost skills in the companies who sign up.
SEEDA invited bids from consortia of learning providers, trade bodies and employers to develop a series of training programmes that meet workforce development needs which are not currently being supplied by existing Further and Higher Education or private sector providers.
The programme will address skill shortages at Level 3 focusing on technical training in relation to the manufacture and application of composite materials. Cogent will work with partners (Isle of Wight College, Southampton City College, CompositesUK and composites employers) to develop a specific qualification for composite technologies. This will be rolled out across the South East which is the home to over 170 organisations associated with composites.
Peter Gent, Cogent Skills Director for the South East said: “Employers have told us that they have been wanting a programme of this type for years. Education, training and awareness of composite materials is key to the future growth of the composites industry which can look forward to an exciting future.”
The course, content and material will be developed between now and July this year, with the object of starting delivery in September 2007 and programme completion in July 2009.
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