Skill gaps in the economy to be targeted as part of adult education relaunch in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough

Skill gaps in the economy to be targeted as part of adult education launch in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. Mayor Palmer says wants 'prosperity to be felt by more people'. Picture: ARCHANT.

Skill gaps in the economy to be targeted as part of adult education launch in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. Mayor Palmer says wants 'prosperity to be felt by more people'. Picture: ARCHANT.

Archant

A refocusing of how adult education funding is spent in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough to give the lower paid workplace qualifications to secure better jobs will launch this summer.

The combined authority is working with further education colleges, training providers and the business community to target specific skills gaps in the local economy and jobs market.

Under the new programme, there will be more people in Fenland offered the opportunity to access courses.

There will be training in ICT and digital skills, business administration, as well as health and social care, transport and warehousing.

Qualifications in English and maths as well as general courses around employability skills will also be offered.

Around £650,000 will be spent in Peterborough and £494,000 will be spent in Fenland for the academic year 19/20 to deliver skills courses.

Mayor James Palmer said: "We know that the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough economy is one of the UK's most thriving and dynamic, but we want that prosperity to be felt by more people.

"Inclusive growth is a key priority of the combined authority and adult education has a role to play.

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"This is also taxpayers' money so the outcomes our spending delivers for people are also important."

The £11.5 million budget for adult education was devolved to the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority earlier this year.

Since then the authority has reviewed how best that money can be spent to meet the skills needs of the area.

Spend is to be more focused on priority areas, targeting those who have the lowest level of qualifications, or no qualifications at all.

Mayor Palmer continued: "We have been working with providers on this new approach and we want to foster a commitment of excellence in adult education delivery, to truly make it a benchmark for a new way of skills delivery for post-19 learners.

"The exciting thing is that if we demonstrate success, there is the potential for more government funding allowing even more people to benefit from learning and skills training."

People from the district previously made up just 11 per cent of those accessing adult education across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough and this is set to increase to 20 per cent.

The new adult education programme will launch at the start of August.

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