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We are working with local employers in digital, science, technology, and healthcare to engage with a group of education providers to upskill both students and teachers.

Working alongside Activate Learning and Windsor Forest Colleges Group, we want to provide SMEs with the chance to get involved in the Industry Specialist Teaching and Knowledge Exchange Programme.

This is an initiative backed by the European Social Fund*, that supports regional development for businesses by developing a suite of solutions which address the existing gap between curriculum design and industry requirements.

The release of the Skills for Jobs (FE) Whitepaper in January 2021 has shone a spotlight on the challenges facing the Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics-based industries (STEAM) for some time regarding skills gaps and the need for more cohesion between education providers and industry.

The FE sector is primed to work with our local SMEs to help them develop the skills they need and ensure the curriculums we deliver are right for their needs both now and in the future.

Our SME partners will get the chance to raise their profile through our network of employers and stakeholders, while also engaging with students through T Level placements, and with teachers through knowledge exchange and upskilling.

By working together, we want to reconcile the needs of digital, science, technology, and healthcare employers with our curriculums and create work-ready young people who will be the candidate pool for future employment.

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*The Department for Work and Pensions is the Managing Authority for the England European Social Fund programme.