Availability of a highly skilled yet affordable workforce
Across the Thames Gateway, there is a real commitment to providing the best education and skills training
This year, the Learning and Skills Council have dedicated a £1.6 billion fund for developing new education and skills programs in the region, and a further £850 million for new buildings and facilities. With a total of 21 universities and 15 colleges, the Thames Gateway is well placed for producing a highly skilled and employable employee base.
Collaboration with local businesses
There’s a real spirit of innovation and collaboration between education and industry, providing opportunities for both students and businesses, and a lively culture of sharing knowledge. Local businesses can benefit from the latest thinking and research from R&D, innovation and incubation units at universities and colleges across the region, while students benefit from direct experience in industry in preparation for the world of work.
Centres of Excellence for industry
Six University Centres of Excellence across the Thames Gateway provide businesses with access to specialist industry knowledge, the latest technological and business developments, and a host of technical testing facilities to take advantage of. Each focuses on a specific growth industry, from Life Sciences, Production and Manufacturing and Environmental Technologies, to ICT, and the Creative Industries, providing a valuable exchange of knowledge, and a source of innovation to boost business growth.
The ‘real world’ approach developing skills for industry is also happening in the new Thames Gateway Skills Academies. The National Skills Academy for Financial Services in Tower Hamlets, and the National Skills Academy for Construction in Stratford provide students with industry relevant qualifications and a direct route into employment, while local business can take advantage of well trained ‘work ready’ employees.
Exciting new facilities
Other initiatives include tailor made courses to meet opportunities in local industries. The School of Pharmacy at Medway, for example, the first new pharmacy school built in the UK for 20 years, provides innovative patient focused undergraduate and postgraduate programmes to meet the needs of healthcare professionals. The School of Medway is Kent Science Park’s resource centre has been established to provide a skilled labour pool with qualifications to degree level in Bioscience related topics.