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University's £2.5million skills partnership programme

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Published on 6, June, 2024

Councillor Alison Smith with Tim Pain, Director of Research and Innovation at the University of Sunderland.
Councillor Alison Smith with Tim Pain, Director of Research and Innovation at the University of Sunderland.

The University of Sunderland is urging businesses and residents to look at new fully funded training opportunities to boost workforce skills.

The £2.56m partnership project - Sunderland Skills and Inclusion Programme (SSIP) - led by the University will run until March 2025.

Courses and training range from digital and office-based skills to trading, manufacturing or industrial courses for mechanics, electrical engineering, hydraulics, milling and turning, and welding. They are being delivered by 12 providers with a range of different specialist skills including Sunderland College, TDR Training and Sunderland Software City.

The SSIP is funded from the city’s allocation of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) which is being managed by Sunderland City Council to deliver funds from the UK Government into a range of projects across the city.

There are more than 100 SSIP courses available, based on the different needs of businesses and their employees from day-long starter courses to advanced accredited diplomas and all are free.

More information on the training available is at Home - Sunderland Skills & Inclusion Programme (skillsandinclusion.co.uk) or you can register your interest at skills@sunderland.ac.uk

Tim Pain, Director of Research and Innovation at the University, said: "This funding is fantastic news for the people and business of Sunderland. We are proud to lead a top quality consortium of providers to skill up the workforce of Sunderland, enhancing still further the university's impact on the city."

Sunderland City Council’s Cabinet Member for Corporate Services and Equalities, Councillor Alison Smith said: "Our UK Shared Prosperity Fund programme is opening up a wide range of opportunities for businesses and residents across the city.

"Today’s workplace and the pace of change means that employers and employees have to continually update their skills. The partnership between the University of Sunderland and the training providers involved in this project will help so many people to update skills or learn new ones.

"There are, quite literally, training opportunities for everybody here from digital and administrative skills to manufacturing and industrial courses for trades and skill sets in wiring, machining, or hydraulics and pneumatics."

The Government funded SSIP programme aims to link up with Sunderland businesses and help more than 2,000 workers over the next year. Other UKSPF projects are providing training and support for economically inactive residents, a range of business support activities, as well as cultural, digital and wider investment in communities across the city.

Cllr Smith added: "Successful businesses are key to the ongoing regeneration of our city and people are key to their success.

"It’s fantastic to have these fully funded courses and opportunities for businesses to help realise their growth aspirations and upskill their staff and future workforce."

Funding for SSIP comes from the 'People and Skills' investment priority in Sunderland's UKSPF allocation which has replaced European grants after the UK's exit from the EU.

Sunderland has £14m of UKSPF to invest in projects that are aligned to and build on plans for a more dynamic, healthy, vibrant and digitally connected Sunderland. UKSPF funds have also gone into other training, business support and community projects. See: UKSPF in Sunderland.