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Bid for £500,000 boost for new engineering academy in Cannock

By Jordan Reynolds | Cannock | Education | Published:

A bid for a £500,000 boost for a new engineering academy in Cannock is set to be made, which will see more than 500 jobs created over three years.

Cannock Chase District Council

The new Cannock Chase Engineering Academy, based at the Cannock Chase Skills and Innovation Hub, is preparing to open this September, and will see 1,000 learners through its doors over three academic years.

Cannock Chase District Council's cabinet is set to approve spending £15,000 on a business case for the half a million pound bid from the Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP at a meeting this week.

The new academy would also cater for 210 apprenticeships over three years, and would deliver 11 different qualifications.

And a report for the meeting says the academy has the potential to generate more than £37 million in goods and services for the economy in Staffordshire.

In the report it says: "Cannock Chase is currently below the national average regarding residents attaining NVQ level 4 and above.

"The issue is that we need to invest now in order to better equip our residents with the skills they need to be able to secure higher level (better paid) skilled positions within the district.

"Wage rates will be pushed upwards by making such an intervention and could even be helpful in retaining the small number of highly skilled people within the District itself and reduce out-commuting.

"State-of-the-art facilities are very limited locally and emerging technologies need to feature in any curriculum delivery to make the courses relevant and therefore beneficial for engineering companies to access."

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A successful bid for £500,000 has been made by the council and South Staffordshire College to the Stoke and Staffordshire LEP (SSLEP).

This will be match funded by the council. So in total £1.5 million would be added to the development of the academy if the latest bid is approved.

All funds will be invested in purchasing new state of the art equipment for the engineering academy, the report adds.

It comes after the skills and innovation hub opened last year with a £6.5 million cash injection.

Two years ago the campus controversially closed due to financial pressures, forcing students to travel to Penkridge, Lichfield and Tamworth to study.

The building went up for sale but was reopened under the title of the skills and innovation hub.

Jordan Reynolds

By Jordan Reynolds
Reporter - @jreynolds_star

Senior reporter at the Express & Star.

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