Northampton College means business as it works to boost skills

SEMLEP skills dinner
SEMLEP skills dinner

Northampton College is among 10 further education colleges that have teamed up to deliver skills needed by 76,000 businesses across the region.

More than 150 businesses and partners gathered for the launch of Colleges Mean Business, a prospectus co-ordinated by the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP) which summarises the ability and desire of colleges – including Northampton College – to deliver skills essential for business growth across the area.

During the event at Woburn Abbey’s Sculpture Gallery, guests were also invited to complete pledge cards and commit to ways in which they could each boost skills in the area.

Pledges made on the night included a commitment to recruit more apprentices and to build closer relationships with local colleges.

SEMLEP chair Dr Ann Limb said: “This event and the launch of Colleges Mean Business reinforces the benefits to all growing businesses of engaging with a local college, whether it be finding new talent or upskilling staff, with product research and marketing, with the recruitment of apprentices or as a means to accessing fantastic facilities.

“SEMLEP’s recent business survey found that more than a third of South East Midlands businesses have skills gaps within their existing workforce and nearly two thirds have found it difficult to recruit, so addressing the skills agenda is vital to our economy.”

Launching Colleges Mean Business, Milton Keynes College principal Dr Ann Limb said: “We are delighted to be launching this prospectus and now want to hear from businesses to better understand your business needs and how we can help you meet them.”

The event was made possible thanks to funding from the European Social Fund and Skills Funding Agency.

During it eight bite-sized videos commissioned by SEMLEP were played. They were designed to highlight some of the barriers individuals and companies have overcome together with the business benefits of investing in skills.

For more information visit www.semlep.com.