HEFCE provides Â£8.3 million to boost workforce development
As part of HEFCE's employer engagement strategy, the Universities of Teesside, Staffordshire and Cumbria, and Worcester College of Technology are developing new relationships with employers to support business growth and employee development, supported by more than Â£8 million of HEFCE funding.
HEFCE is supporting these projects to increase the capacity of the Higher Education sector to respond to employer needs and to generate co-funding from employers. The projects will deliver HE programmes tailor-made for collaborating companies. Most will be for part-time study, often delivered in the workplace. The universities affected are:
* University of Teesside - awarded Â£5.1 million to deliver a significant institutional change programme to develop Teesside as a major business-facing institution, and deliver programmes for 3,000 learners in the region supported by their employers over the next three years.
* Staffordshire University - awarded Â£3 million to establish a new Business Centre in partnership with Stoke on Trent College as a 'one stop shop' for employers to help identify their higher skills needs, and to develop responsive packages for 3,000 learners in the first three years.
* University of Cumbria - awarded Â£188,000 to meet employer needs in policing and supply chain logistics, aiming to deliver provision for 890 students by 2012.
* Worcester College of Technology - working in partnership with the Institute of Payroll Professionals the College aims to deliver HE provision in payroll management for 3,200 learners over 2008 to 2010.
For the first three projects HEFCE will provide capacity funding of Â£8.3 million; and all four institutions will receive provision funding for the student numbers enrolled on courses which are co-funded with employers.
The Government requires a substantial increase in employer co-funded student places. HEFCE now has 22 such projects in place, with direct contributions from the Council worth Â£47.6 million. Another 30 are currently under discussion.
Professor David Eastwood, HEFCE's Chief Executive, said: "Employer engagement is not just for those universities or colleges known for their business orientation; it is for the whole sector. The projects we are funding today reflect the changing and quickening pace of engagement, which is now becoming part of the core business of higher education."
HEFCE's employer co-funding budget will be Â£15 million in 2008 - 2009, rising to Â£40 million in 2009 - 2010 and at least Â£50 million in 2010 - 2011. This is part of the Government's response to the Leitch review of skills. In January, John Denham, Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills indicated a wish to see 'more substantial growth' in this kind of provision from 2011.