People across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly are set to benefit from more skills training in retrofit, modern methods of construction, heat pump technologies, engineering and boatbuilding.

From next year, colleges and other training providers across the Duchy will start to offer these opportunities, which have been specifically aligned to the priority sectors identified by local employers in the Local Skills Improvement Plan, which was led and delivered for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly by the Federation of Small Businesses.

Across the region, employers identified the two sectors of construction and retrofit and manufacturing, engineering and marine as priorities alongside cross-sector skills challenges in digital, green and employability.

Lead applicant Truro and Penwith College, along with delivery partners The Cornwall College Group, Cornwall Marine Network Ltd and Focus Training Ltd, have received a total of £2.5 million from the Department for Education’s Local Skills Improvement Fund (LSIF) to help transform skills training.

Innovative projects have been given the go ahead, which will support people to gain the skills needed to launch careers in the green sector and support the local economy to grow.

Truro and Penwith College will use the LSIF investment to expedite infrastructure and curriculum developments, with a focus on the development and piloting of higher-level qualification pathways and CPD programmes for existing construction sector employees in modern methods of construction and retrofit, as guided by the industry-led Sustainable Construction Advisory Panel that the college established in May.

For the engineering and manufacturing sector, the college will expand the pioneering provision that it has undertaken as part of the South West Institute of Technology with further occupational and professional training, electric vehicle programmes and, response to the skills needs highlighted in the Local Skills Improvement Plan, bespoke provision in leadership, management, quality improvement and lean.

The college’s delivery partners will also utilise the Local Skills Improvement Fund to support the creation of cutting-edge training facilities and innovative new programmes. Cornwall Marine Network will provide professional upskilling provision including hydraulics, pneumatics, composites and electronics while Focus Training will establish new programmes for businesses in heat pumps, solar PV, electric vehicle charging, water harvesting and the design, installation and commissioning of electrical energy storage systems.

The Cornwall College Group will invest in institutional specialisms of engineering and manufacturing, marine and construction; providing interactive learning facilities equipped with cutting-edge equipment and digital technology to deliver the skills needed for the green economy.

Martin Tucker, principal of Truro and Penwith College, said: “We are delighted to be leading on the Local Skills Improvement Fund for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. The investment supports the expansion and upgrading of resources to align with modern methods of construction and support the critical engineering and manufacturing sector.

“The fund is allowing us to create new workshop and classroom facilities to accommodate the growth in apprenticeship numbers and upgrade our facilities and provision across our campuses.”