Kent Invicta Chamber secures £5.6m funding in bid with EKC Group, MidKent College and North Kent College


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A partnership between a major business organisation and Kent's further education colleges has been appointed one of eight national trailblazers by the government.

It comes after a successful joint bid by Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce with EKC Group, MidKent College and North Kent College which secured £5.6million.

Simon Cook of MidKent College, Graham Razey of EKC Group and Jo James of Kent Invicta Chamber
Simon Cook of MidKent College, Graham Razey of EKC Group and Jo James of Kent Invicta Chamber

It will now implement a pilot strategic development fund which will see courses tailored to the need of businesses.

Under the Skills Accelerator Programme, the colleges will focus on three key sectors; agriculture, construction and engineering, with a shared thread of decarbonisation.

The remaining funding will create a Local Skills Improvement Programme (LSIP) with the chamber by working with Kent companies and other business groups to identify immediate skills needs.

Jo James, chief executive of Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce, said: “The LSIP will help businesses shape the curriculum delivered by the local further education colleges. It will ensure the county’s skills priorities are aligned and that the workforce has the skills needed to enable businesses here in Kent to grow."

The LSIP will build upon previous work between the chamber and the colleges, including the Kickstart training programme for 16 to 24-year-olds.

This wiill help businesses shape the curriculum delivered by the local further education colleges

Graham Razey, CEO of EKC Group, said: “As a group we are committed to working in partnership with employers across our area, and have done so very successfully in the past. This Skills Accelerator Project will ensure our colleges deliver increased innovation, productivity and resilience in the Kent and Medway economy, whilst also making a significant contribution to local and national sustainability goals for the future.”

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