Ayrshire College given STEM skills support
North Ayrshire Council has given its backing to a Future Skills Hub at Ayrshire College in Kilwinning.
At the latest Cabinet meeting, Councillors agreed to transfer an area of land at Dalry Road in Kilwinning to Ayrshire College. This will enable the College to progress its ambitious plans to construct a new purpose-built facility focused on delivering courses in construction, engineering and SMART technologies.
These subjects have been identified as being the cornerstones for economic regeneration in the region. By offering STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) courses, it provides opportunities for local residents to access entry level jobs and to progress to higher level occupations in sectors which are key to the economy.
The project has already secured £1.5 million of funding from a range of partners, including the Council which provided £200,000 to support the innovative plans.
The money will be used to replace the existing STEM provision at Neithermains industrial estate with a purpose-built facility adjacent to the College’s main campus in Kilwinning. This is because the current facility does not allow Ayrshire College to deliver the level of training it wishes.
Ayrshire College Principal Carol Turnbull said: "The Future Skills Hub will impact positively on key skills and employability opportunities for so many people across the community.
"This ambitious project will support education and professional training in construction and provide a skills pipeline for some important capital projects that are being taken forward by North Ayrshire Council."
Council Leader Joe Cullinane, Cabinet Member for Community Wealth Building said: “We are delighted to be supporting this worthwhile project. By providing STEM training right here in North Ayrshire, it offers our residents a unique opportunity to learn new skills and gain careers in what are arguably some of the most in demand and highly paid industries.
“Take Ayrshire as an example. In November last year, the UK and Scottish Governments along with the three Ayrshire Councils, officially signed the Ayrshire Growth Deal. This signifies a £251 million investment into the region across a range of projects in key sectors including aerospace, manufacturing and technology.
“These projects are huge in scale and have the potential to create thousands of jobs. By offering local training in STEM subjects now, we can equip local people with the skills needed to access many of these jobs – ensuring local people, local businesses and our local communities benefit from this multi-million-pound investment.
“Having well-paid, highly skilled residents living and spending in North Ayrshire will help create a prosperous and productive region. But for all of this to happen, training is essential. We need to ensure our residents have access to high-quality learning, in the right place, at the right time and in the right industries.
“That’s why projects such as the Ayrshire College’s Future Skills Hub are key. We are excited to support it and cannot wait to see it come to fruition.”
23 February 2021