People across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly are set to benefit from more skills training including in retrofit, modern methods of construction, heat pump technologies, engineering and boatbuilding.

From next year, colleges and other training providers across the county will start to offer these exciting opportunities, which have been specifically aligned to the priority sectors identified by local employers in the Local Skills Improvement Plan, which was led and delivered for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly by the Federation of Small Businesses.

Across the region, employers identified the two sectors of construction and retrofit and manufacturing, engineering and marine as priorities alongside cross-sector skills challenges in digital, green and employability.

Lead applicant Truro and Penwith College, along with delivery partners The Cornwall College Group, Cornwall Marine Network Ltd and Focus Training Ltd, have received a total of £2.5-million from the Department for Education’s Local Skills Improvement Fund (LSIF) to help transform skills training so that local businesses can continue to tap into the skilled workforce they need to thrive, while helping more people to secure good jobs closer to home.

Truro and Penwith College will use the LSIF investment to expedite infrastructure and curriculum developments, with a focus on the development and piloting of higher-level qualification pathways and CPD programmes for existing construction sector employees in modern methods of construction and retrofit, as guided by the industry-led Sustainable Construction Advisory Panel that the college established in May 2023.

For the engineering and manufacturing sector, the college will expand the pioneering provision that it has undertaken as part of the South West Institute of Technology with further occupational and professional training, electric vehicle programmes and, response to the skills needs highlighted in the Local Skills Improvement Plan, bespoke provision in leadership, management, quality improvement and lean.

The Cornwall College Group will invest in institutional specialisms of engineering and manufacturing, marine and construction; providing state-of-the-art interactive learning facilities equipped with cutting-edge equipment and digital technology to deliver the skills needed for the green economy. This builds on the recent investment of £13-million refurbishing the Camborne campus and the circa £40-million new campus build at St Austell.

Martin Tucker, principal of Truro and Penwith College said: “We are delighted to be leading on the Local Skills Improvement Fund for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. The fund is allowing us to create new workshop and classroom facilities to accommodate the growth in apprenticeship numbers and upgrade our facilities and provision across our campuses.”