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East Kent College secures £1 million for Dover campus

Businesses in Dover and students at East Kent College’s local campus are to benefit after winning a share of £18m to boost skills and training following a decision by the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SE LEP).

East Kent College, which has campuses in Dover, Discovery Park, near Sandwich, Folkestone and Broadstairs, successfully submitted a bid to the SE LEP Skills Capital Fund.

The funding is designed to reduce skills shortages, support growth industries and provide the best possible facilities for the South East’s young people to access vocational skills and training.

SE LEP Chairman Peter Jones said: “Improving skills is a key priority for us and our partners. I’m delighted to see colleges are focusing on the skills needs of business and their communities, and in the case of Dover it will support local engineering, logistics and service companies.

“The success of the Dover bid should be celebrated as it will have a direct impact not only on the lives of the individual students, but also the long term success of the local economy.”

East Kent College’s plans to provide new training facilities for its Dover campus successfully unlocked £1,186,750 of funding. The plans for Dover, designed to help reduce current low levels of training in the district, will see the refurbishment and extension of much needed new technical vocational facilities.

Charlie Elphicke, MP for Dover, said: “Having campaigned hard for more investment in skills in East Kent, this is great news. SE LEP has done a great job securing funds to support our community.

“Since East Kent College has moved into Dover its team has actively engaged with local employers, big and small, to understand what skills are needed. This should have a very positive long-term impact on the economy of the town and neighbouring communities as a result of this new funding.”

An estimated 1,005 (81%) of the 1,241 16-18-year-old students who access further education travel out of Dover, a statistic East Kent College is seeking to turn around by improving facilities and relevance of training opportunities at its Dover campus.

Graham Razey, Principal of East Kent College, said: “Since taking over the campuses at Dover and Folkestone from the former K College, we have worked closely with local employers, such as Dover Harbour Board and others, to fully understand their priorities and needs in terms of skills for the future.

“This funding will help us to deliver on our promise of supporting our important coastal communities, and transforming the lives of the area’s young people, too many of whom have become disenfranchised from education, skills and training.”

Welcoming the announcement, Cllr Paul Watkins, Leader of Dover District Council, said: “We’re delighted that East Kent College is investing in their Dover campus, and at Discovery Park in Sandwich.  

“East Kent College is doing a great job in refocusing vocational training in the district to provide new opportunities for young people to learn the skills that our local employers need.”

Issued by Maxim PR on behalf of the South East Local Enterprise Partnership

Posted on 24/02/2015