Friday, December 8, 2023

Links between business and teaching in Thurrock being nurtured

THE ‘Delivering Skills of the Future Through Teaching: Teaching for Growth’ project – which aims tackle the current teacher shortage by highlighting the benefits of working in education and offering bursaries to attract industry experts – has successfully kicked off, after being funded by the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP) earlier this year.

The Teaching for Growth project has provided bursaries for new recruits who are looking to undertake a Cert Ed or PGCE, with the aim of attracting and retaining the top talent from a variety of industries to train as a tutor, teacher or lecturer within Further Education (FE).

Attracting and retaining expertise in FE is one of the biggest barriers and bottlenecks to skills training and jobs growth, which in turn plays its part in a lack of local productivity and growth. The project will serve as a pilot which SELEP hopes could apply nationally in future and act as a blueprint for future apprenticeship teaching qualifications.

The campaign has already begun delivering bursaries of up to £4,000 each, to contribute to teacher training costs in priority sectors, including construction, logistics, engineering, healthcare and digital. Targets have been exceeded with 73 bursaries already secured in total across the SELEP area, which covers East Sussex, Essex, Kent, Medway, Southend and Thurrock. The programme is also now opening up opportunities in level 3 teacher training qualifications, responding to need and enabling more bursaries.

An awareness-raising campaign including website and videos for the programme will be kicking off in the coming weeks to hear directly from those working in FE and demonstrate the range of innovative and inspirational facilities available to experts who wish to become a tutor and help train the next generation of workforces.

The South East LEP’s Skills Advisory Group was awarded £166,600 from the South East LEP’s £500,000 Sector Support Fund – which is available to support one-off, discrete pieces of work of a pan-LEP nature – after the LEP’s Accountability Board agreed to fund the project at its meeting in September.

South East LEP Chair Christian Brodie said:

“Our partners in Further Education tell us of the constant challenge of competing with the private sector when it comes to recruiting tutors with invaluable real-life business experience.

“The Teaching for Growth campaign extols the benefits of working in a teaching role and showcases the range of innovative and inspirational facilities available within Further Education to put their industry knowledge to the widest possible use.”

SELEP’s Skills Advisory Group is working alongside FE Sussex, the Sussex Council of Training Providers, Kent Further Education, Kent Association of Training Organisations, the Essex Provider Network and the Federation of Essex Colleges. The funding from the LEP is matched with contributions from Essex County Council and East Sussex County Council to deliver the £247,900 project.

Further information and application details are at


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