Funding boost for North London colleges teaching ‘green skills’

Barnet and Southgate College, Capel Manor and Conel all set to benefit from £6.5m in government cash

The three North London colleges

Three North London colleges are part of a group set to benefit from £6.5m in government funding to deliver improved green and digital skills training.

The investment will see 23 further and higher education providers in north-east and south-east London benefit from new state-of-the-art facilities, along with development of new courses and qualifications, new approaches for collaborative teaching, and digital and green skills training for staff.

The Local London Skills Network is made up of 23 delivery partners, including Barnet and Southgate College’s campuses in High Barnet, Colindale and Southgate, plus Enfield’s Capel Manor College and College of North East London (Conel), part of Capital City College.

The project is being delivered to “respond more effectively to the needs of employers” in London and will put students in “the best possible position” to secure jobs in the green and digital sectors.

Of the total fund, £3.6m has been carved out for delivering new green skills training facilities and course development.

Capel Manor College, an environmental college based in Bullsmoor, will play an integral role in the project and “will soon be at the forefront of technology in further education” as it uses its share of the fund to “build immersive learning suites” at its Enfield and Gunnersbury Park campuses.

Approximately £1.5m of new investment has also been made in installing a new digital network, which will connect up to 30 training sites across the London boroughs, including all Barnet and Southgate College campuses and both Capel Manor College sites.

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London’s first windfarm operations training centre, located at Conel in Enfield Highway, will also now become accessible to over four million learners with specialist teaching being broadcast across the whole project network, meaning students can access learning from a location that is convenient for them.

This digital infrastructure, which will be operational by September, will make the London college group one of the biggest collaborative networks of further education providers in the country.

Caroline Turner, director of green skills at Capel Manor College, said: “We are very pleased to be part of the hub group for Local London Skills Network, working together with other colleges to drive forward innovation and address the skills shortages across the capital.

“The immersive learning suites we are implementing at our Enfield and Gunnersbury Park campuses are an exciting development for Capel Manor College and will allow our learners and visitors to access and use the latest technology.” 

Neil Coker, principal at Barnet and Southgate College, added: “This consortium funding will enable us to create an extended reality room and an immersive hub, which will help us to link with partner organisations, to better collaborate with partner colleges, to share specialist teacher delivery and to really enrich learning for all our students. We are really excited to be part of this ground-breaking project.”

London’s green economy is currently valued at £48bn and is rapidly growing, making up approximately 5% of the workforce, while around one-in-five jobs in London are in the digital sector.

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