A collaborative bid from St Helens College and Knowsley Community College to develop a specialist Logistics Academy has gained successful approval from Liverpool City Region's Growth Deal fund.
Proposals were delivered to the Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and the Combined Authority who finally gave the seal of approval on the ambitious project that will bring much opportunity to the area and residents.
The new £3million Logistics Academy received backing and support from key employers in the sector including Wincanton, Stena Line and the Chartered Institute of Transport and Logistics.
The Academy is set to open in 2016, co-located in Kirkby and St Helens. It will change the face of provision for businesses and employers, providing a one stop shop for transport, distribution and supply chain management. It forms part of Liverpool City Region's pledge to invest over £40 million in a range of projects designed to meet employer needs, helping bridge skills shortages and develop tomorrow's workforce. Recent developments in the sector locally includes the establishment of the Omega site along the M62 corridor as well as ongoing work on the Superport in Liverpool creating real demand for a skilled workforce.
Bringing together the expertise of Knowsley Community College, St Helens College and key employers in the sector, the Logistics Academy will prepare both young people and adults for a career in the growing supply chain industry enabling the refurbishment, reconfiguration and update of existing skills and training accommodation to develop new talent.
Employers will be central to the Logistics Academy, steering the development of skills and working with both colleges to meet the changing needs of the sector from data analytics to warehousing and distribution. Skills training will also be offered at higher and professional levels.
Dr Jette Burford, Principal at St Helens College said, "The project, which is part of a region wide initiative, will stimulate innovation and is crucial in order to deliver new education and training opportunities, specifically designed to support the region's priority growth sectors. This initiative will enable both Knowsley Community College and St Helens College to develop opportunities for both young people and adults. The training and qualifications that will be delivered through the Logistics Academy will create pathways into employment through the development of traineeships, apprenticeships and higher qualifications to support the expected growth in the logistics sector".
Anne Pryer, Principal of Knowsley Community College added, "Logistics is central to the dynamic growth of the Liverpool City Region and our work with key employers in this sector is guiding the development of the Logistics Academy. Our aim is to provide a pipeline for professionals to the sector over the next 20-30 years. The opportunities that this project presents to young people and adults cannot be underestimated and we believe that the Academy will be truly transformational in creating an employer-centred approach to skills development for logistics."
Robert Hough, Chair of Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) said: "I am extremely pleased to see our Growth Deal funding being allocated to our City Region Colleges. The Superport initiative is a key growth sector for the City Region and the provision of high quality training for current and prospective logistic employees is a key priority going forward. Investment in a Logistics Academy creates a vital and important new asset for the City Region and another reason for logistics businesses to invest here."