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NSCG Principal and CEO Craig Hodgson Visits Downing Street

Last week, NSCG Principal and Chief Executive, Craig Hodgson, was delighted to be invited to Downing Street by MP for Newcastle-under-Lyme, Aaron Bell.

The visit to London was to meet the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, Michael Gove, to celebrate the developments within the local communities of Staffordshire which support the Levelling Up agenda.

Recently, Mr Gove was in Stafford to announce £20M of funding will be granted towards the Stafford Gateway Project, which will see 19-acres of derelict land transformed into a new community of 900 homes with offices, shops, businesses, a hotel and a multi-storey car park, expected to be ready by 2040.

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Mr Gove said: "I think that for a multiple range of reasons there are towns, county towns in particular, like Stafford, that have seen investment go to our major cities, to Birmingham and to Manchester.

"And of course that's sensible as a way of boosting economic growth, but we cannot afford to have attractive county towns like Stafford left behind.

"Stafford is well-connected, to Birmingham, to Manchester and to London, but what we need is investment in Stafford itself."

Mr Hodgson's visit also coincides with the recent news that Staffordshire-based colleges will receive a share of £3.2M from the Local Skills Improvement Fund (LSIF) to help transform skills training.

This partnership between further education institutions in the Staffordshire area, led by NSCG, has been awarded funding for investment in new facilities and industry-standard equipment and the development of new courses and curriculum to support people to gain the skills needed to launch careers in priority sectors and support the local economy to grow.

Craig Hodgson said: "We are delighted with the recent announcement by the Secretary of State about the investment in the Stafford Gateway Project which will form part of the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Institute of Technology, and we are delighted to be leading on the Local Skills Improvement Fund for Staffordshire where we are working collaboratively with the Staffordshire colleges to deliver exciting and ambitious projects that will transform the regional skills landscape.

“The fund will provide the opportunity for colleges to invest in new industry-standard equipment, specialist staff training and develop innovative, forward thinking curriculum to meet the needs of local employers and we look forward to seeing the developments continue to take shape."

The funding awarded will ensure more people can access Higher Technical Qualifications (HTQs) – that sit between A Level, T Level, vocational courses and degrees – to gain in-demand skills including digital, healthcare and engineering as an alternative to a traditional three-year degree. HTQs are designed in close collaboration with employers, so they equip students will the skills they need to go onto further study or straight into a good job.

The investment in local areas is just one way the government is boosting skills, alongside a huge range of other high-quality programmes including T Levels, free courses for jobs and Skills Bootcamps.

Find out more about the range of university-level qualifications available to study at NSCG here.