Cannock Chase Council is delighted to announce there will be a new further education hub in Cannock town centre opening this September.
The Cannock Chase Skills and Innovation Hub, to be based at the same campus location owned by South Staffordshire College, is the result of the Council working with the College to create a new partnership venture.
The hub will ultimately deliver courses, training and apprenticeship opportunities across seven new disciplines.
The move is designed to meet the needs of local and regional employers and a growing economy. It will give the District’s young people access to a range of education and skills opportunities provided locally in the District.
It comes as the District gears up for the arrival of the McArthurGlen Designer Outlet Cannock, the future development of the Rugeley Power Station site, as well as other significant business and industrial expansion anticipated over the next few years.
Learning opportunities will be provided in engineering / advanced manufacturing, electrical installation and electrical engineering, energy, construction, digital, health and social care and early years, and mathematics and English for employability.
Some of these will be available from this September while others will be developed in future academic years.
There will also be an apprenticeship hub, as well as incubators for start-up businesses, and space for office use.
Councillor George Adamson, Leader of the Council said, “It is fair to say we were very critical of the decision to close the Cannock campus a year ago.
“However, a year on, and after positive discussions with the College and employers, we have been able to turn round what was a bleak position into something very new and exciting.
“The College should be commended for exploring and now committing to this new venture, and we welcome the support of the business community to help provide invaluable educational opportunities which will help to raise skills levels among the local workforce.
“The District Council is already committed to investing £500,000 into an engineering academy to provide modern equipment.”
Claire Boliver, Chief Executive Principal of South Staffordshire College, commenting on the announcement said: “After many months of weighing up a wide variety of options, we have now arrived at a new future for the Cannock Campus that we feel represents the best outcome for the local community.
“Having taken advice from all stakeholders, we have now completed our due diligence and come to the decision that a new innovation and skills hub will be the most financially sustainable and economically beneficial use of this site. This will benefit local employers, small businesses and start-ups, learners and job seekers.
“We are therefore no longer offering the site on the open market, and are now at advanced stages of discussions with our partner stakeholders to move forward with this plan.”
More details on courses provided by South Staffordshire College are available by calling 0300 456 24 24 or at www.southstaffs.ac.uk
Photograph: The exterior of South Staffordshire College’s campus in Cannock. The building will now been taken off the market.