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West Yorkshire Colleges secure funding to accelerate digital innovation in education
West Yorkshire Colleges, including Leeds College of Building, have been successful in securing £6.9 million from the Department for Education to digitise teaching and learning in key sectors.
By: Leeds College of Building
The project will support colleges and partners to build capacity to meet local skills priorities that were identified in the Local Skills Improvement Plan (LSIP), launched by the West and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce in August.
Working through the consortium, colleges and partners will collaborate for maximum impact. They will develop current and new digitised training provision and curriculum for key industries.
The colleges will open specialist hubs and academies offering high level curriculum using immersive and digital technology and Artificial Intelligence.
The capital investment will include equipment and resources needed to use virtual reality, augmented reality, Artificial Intelligence and robotics to equip colleges with the means to develop relevant and in-demand skills.
The West Yorkshire colleges benefiting from the funding include Leeds College of Building, Bradford College, Calderdale College, Kirklees College, Luminate Education Group (Leeds City College and Keighley College), Heart of Yorkshire Education Group, and Shipley College.
Leeds College of Building has been awarded funding for the development of new specialist hubs for digital skills within the construction industry to meet the demands in the area for diverse skilled workers. This will also include funding for mobile digital hubs across the region with AI technology and VR/AR equipment.
Nikki Davis, Principal and CEO of Leeds College of Building said:
"We are delighted to be awarded this funding to help support local people to access high quality provision, with industry leading facilities. The focus on digital construction will provide opportunities for employers and future employees to develop vital skills."
Over the course of the project approximately 5,000 learners will benefit from around 100 new courses, with over 7,000 learners using the new equipment purchased with LSIF capital funds. Over 700 college staff will benefit from CPD activities.
The project runs until March 2025 and is part of the Government's drive to transform skills training (https://www.westyorkshirecolleges.co.uk/