Young people in Calderdale could soon have the opportunity to further their careers in manufacturing and technology, as plans for a new Skills Innovation Centre are being discussed.
On Monday 14 July Calderdale Council’s Cabinet will consider plans to develop a business case for a state-of-the-art Centre, working with the University of Huddersfield.
The Council is working hard to inspire young people to study science, technology, engineering and mathematics, including software engineering and to identify and develop workforce skills in areas where there are shortages, for example within advanced engineering, manufacturing and digital technologies. There are currently minimal numbers of Calderdale students studying these types of courses, despite one out of five jobs in the borough being in these sectors.
The proposed Skills Innovation Centre would be linked to the existing 3M Buckley Innovation Centre in Huddersfield, which works with local businesses and the University to prototype innovative ideas. The Calderdale model would offer the next stage of development for mainstreaming new technologies. The intention is that the Centre will enable access to high-tech equipment and training, providing local businesses with skilled employees.
Although in the early stages of development, Cabinet are making a decision now to develop the full business case to submit to the European funding programme, and also take advantage of other funding opportunities.
Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Economy and Environment, Cllr Barry Collins, said:
“This Centre would revolutionise further education in Calderdale, providing students with a local base to study highly-skilled subjects, with state-of-the-art technology to provide easily transferrable skills into the workplace.
“By working with the University of Huddersfield we have the expertise in place to make this ambitious project a reality.”