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East Midlands Chamber News

Loughborough College teams up with East Midlands Chamber to address skills gap

Sporting excellence is at the heart of the offer at Loughborough College, which has agreed to become the latest East Midlands Chamber patron.

The college, which counts England footballers Jude Bellingham and Ben Chilwell among its alumni, has created training programmes and pathways for international captains, Olympic and Paralympic medallists, and world champions.

As well as being one of the largest sports colleges in the UK, it also has expertise in space engineering – working with the National Space Academy to prepare students for work in aerospace, aeronautics and advanced engineering.

Despite the pandemic, it has invested £2.3m in a new T Level Centre that will support more local people into training and employment, has been involved in a partnership that is bidding for £13m of Government funding to create an East Midlands Institute of Technology, and has worked alongside Loughborough University to create a Careers and Enterprise Hub to upskill Charnwood residents.

Jo Maher, principal and CEO of Loughborough College, said: “The power of partnerships and collaboration is at the heart of Loughborough College’s strategy to support the continued growth of the local and regional economy.

“Joining the Chamber is an important step for us to broaden our understanding of what skills employers need and to ensure we position the college to better support employers, by plugging them into our talent pipeline.

“As we move out of the pandemic and into recovery, it is important that we now focus our energy on supporting our learners to progress and achieve their goals, and to ensure we continue to meet the needs of our employer partners.

“With our investment in our T Level Centre, the prospect of creating a new Institute of Technology and the creation of the Careers and Enterprise Hub, Loughborough College is in a really strong position to spearhead the provision of skills needed for Industry 4.0.” 

Loughborough College's future plans include Digital Skills Hub

Founded in 1909, Loughborough College has about 10,000 students enrolled in courses ranging from A-Levels to vocational programmes and degrees.

It employs about 1,000 people, operating mainly out of the college’s Radmoor Road campus in Loughborough, but it also has a training facility for international sport based in Mallorca. The elite athletes it works with are spread around the UK.

Future plans include creating a Digital Skills Hub on its campus as part of the Loughborough Town Deal funding, which also secured the Careers and Enterprise Hub, to support advanced digital skills in its communities.

Jo spoke at East Midlands Chamber’s Employability and Skills Summit and the college is also a partner of Generation Next, the network for young professionals.

East Midlands Chamber chief executive Scott Knowles said: “Skills gaps are some of the biggest hurdles to growth for the businesses we represent and addressing these will be crucial for rebuilding our economy post-pandemic.

“It’s essential that businesses and education providers work closely together to ensure our workforce is equipped for future industry needs, and we look forward to extending our already great relationship with new patron Loughborough College.”

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