Alconbury Campus and Huntingdonshire has moved one step closer to establishing a jobs and skills service which will assist the area prepare for growth: linking businesses with the workforce of today and tomorrow and helping both to navigate the funding, support and training they need.
The new one-stop shop service - called Edge: sharper skills for Enterprise - will formally launch in early 2015 and will be a key part of the skills strategy brought forward through the development of Alconbury Enterprise Campus. This week the partners behind the project signed a formal agreement to commit the funding, expertise and resources which will establish the services offered. Edge will bring together a range of existing services, making access more effective and joined up for businesses and people. The Edge will also deliver new services such as matching up students seeking work experience with businesses across the district.
The partners behind the project include:
- Huntingdonshire District Council
- Huntingdonshire Regional College
- Cambridgeshire County Council
- DWP Jobcentre plus
- Local Enterprise Partnership (Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough)
- Skills Funding Agency
- HASP - Huntingdon Academies Secondary Partnership
Rebecca Britton, Head of Partnerships and Communities, at Urban& Civic, said:
"We always wanted to ensure Alconbury Weald had a jobs hub to support companies locating into the area to recruit locally: benefiting the company, local communities and the local economy. In delivering that through Edge, and working with the partners who have good links across the area, we have managed to both expand the services on offer to make it a real one stop shop for businesses, and also extend the opportunities from the Enterprise Campus to business across the district."
Rick Carroll, Headteacher of Longsands Academy - one of the schools making up the HASP cluster - said:
“HASP is delighted to be a part of this new service. Bringing together business and schools is one of the best ways to ensure our students understand the real opportunities that are on their doorstep, and what skills, attitudes and qualifications they need to grasp them.”
Susanne Stent, Principal, Huntingdonshire Regional College, added:
“It is vital that local educational provision not only meets local and regional business needs, but ensures that young people are aware of the types of career opportunities available to them now and in the future. This innovative new service has the chance to really move this agenda forward. I am really excited to see what can be achieved.”
Julie Drummond Enterprise Zone Skills Group Coordinator, said:
“This is a great day. A lot of innovate thinking and hard work has gone into the modelling of Edge: sharper skills for enterprise. The partners have been passionate, responsive and fully committed. Engaging education with business is key, and plays a vital part of building economic growth in the long term. Young people’s involvement in work experience, business visits, careers advice, curriculum projects etc means that when entering the workforce they will have practiced their skills and understand what’s required from them.”
The first event the partners are putting on together is scheduled for 16 December 2014 at Wood Green Animal Shelter, Godmanchester, and will see over 650 students talking to over 50 local businesses about what the business does, the different job roles, the skills required and attitude to work they expect to see. Starting at 8:00am the early part of the event will be a business breakfast forum offering information and support to businesses thinking about taking on young people through apprenticeships and other schemes. Neil Darwin Chief Execeutive of the Local Enterprise Partnership is Chairman of Ceremonies for the morning. Speakers highlighting their experiences will be Marshall Aerospace, Select Plant Hire and LeMark. Should you wish to attend the business breakfast forum you can book a place by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org or phone Ashleigh on 01480 379217. If you wish to book a stand to promote your business to young people, e-mail email@example.com or phone 01480 388459.
Look out for the official launch of Edge: sharper skills for Enterprise early 2015.