West Yorkshire Consortium of Colleges

8 February 2024

Nurturing West Yorkshire’s talent with investment and innovation - David Malone

David Malone, Principal and CEO at Calderdale College

At Calderdale College, we want West Yorkshire to realise its skills potential and to thrive. I am delighted to kick off this blog series to share with you what the Local Skills Improvement Funding (LSIF) means for colleges and the impact it will have on the region.

David Malone Calderdale College

More than £6.5 million has been secured for FE providers across West Yorkshire from the government’s £200 million LSIF budget*, to help meet the demands that have been identified within the region’s Local Skills Improvement Plan. This plan aims to tackle skills shortages by responding to employers’ needs and giving young people the skills to get good jobs and increase their job prospects.

In collaboration, the West Yorkshire Consortium of Colleges will use the fund to invest in new facilities and equipment, and the delivery and development of new courses in curriculum across a range of priority sectors. This fund really is a game-changer for transforming skills training and will involve a range of exciting and innovative projects.

These digital innovation projects include Construction, Creative Industries, FinTech, Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering, Health and Care and Teaching and Learning across colleges within West Yorkshire.

At Calderdale College, we are using our £700,000 of funding to develop a new digital creative centre at a local vibrant historic mill complex, Dean Clough. The new campus will house state-of-the-art facilities for gaming, film and TV to deliver our new courses in Esports and Games Design, and a T Level in Media, Production and Broadcasting.

The video games industry is now making more money than both film and music combined, so there is a clear need for us as an educational institution to offer courses that can support students with entering this industry. We aim to provide them with the skills and knowledge needed to secure high-paying job roles in branding and marketing, programming, live-streaming, analysis and a wide range of other positions.

It’s also a time when Halifax is establishing its place as the Hollywood of the north, with the town featured on top Netflix and Disney Plus programmes. It is critical that we give students real-world experience in high-tech facilities that mirror those in film and TV, and the chance to work with established production companies and creative businesses on our doorstep.

Through this new centre and our enhanced curriculum, we can transform learning in the Creative Industries and deliver something that has the potential to shape the futures of our local residents.

This is an exciting time for colleges and businesses alike. There is an abundance of talent in West Yorkshire, but nurturing and investing in this talent is key in order to unlock our full potential. I look forward to seeing what we and our fellow colleges can achieve through this much needed funding.

*The West Yorkshire colleges benefiting from the funding include Calderdale College, Kirklees College, Luminate Education Group (Leeds City College and Keighley College), Heart of Yorkshire Education Group, Shipley College, Leeds College of Building and Bradford College. The project runs until March 2025.


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