From education to employment


It has been announced that Alton College has secured over half a million pounds of investment from the North Hampshire and Surrey Local Skills Improvement Fund.

Alton College, which is home to a range of exceptional A Level and Vocational courses, will use government funding to maintain its leading role in developing skills for students to become the next generation of industry professionals.

Staff and students are celebrating the recent news, specifically within its thriving STEM provision which will support the region’s massive space and satellite industry. Students will benefit from industry-standard facilities, new equipment, and unique opportunities with Surrey Space Centre at the University of Surrey and Portsmouth Research Institute for Space Missions (PRISM) at the University of Portsmouth, as well as working with the Space at Southampton initiative at the University of Southampton. In addition, students will benefit from opportunities from a number of key employers in the space and satellite industry through the Space South Central cluster. This exciting ‘Space Technologies’ programme will also include students completing a Module in Space Engineering at the Surrey Space Centre.

Ashley Grute, Assistant Principal – Vocational Curriculum added:

“We are really proud to be playing a key part in preparing the next generation of scientists and engineers for the space and satellite industry. Working with Space South Central and the Universities of Surrey and Portsmouth, our Space Technologies programme will enable us to inspire young people to develop the relevant skills to work in this exciting sector.

The fact that in this region there are so many employers and job opportunities in Space and Satellite means our students will be highly sought after when they complete their studies.”

Dr Louise Butt, Director at Space South Central said:

“With over 150 space companies, our region is characterised by some of the most well-known and dynamic players in the sector, boasting significant capabilities in; satellite manufacture, launch technologies, next-generation communications, robotics, and autonomous systems, as well as a full range of satellite data-enabled service capabilities.

The continued growth and success of the UK space sector relies on the talent of tomorrow so I’m delighted to see local-led investment in industry-focused facilities and training. The collaboration between Alton College, regional universities, and space-related industry will ensure a pipeline of skilled and capable future professionals.”

The Government’s Local Skills Improvement Fund project will offer more training opportunities in priority skills areas identified by local businesses and employers – giving them access to the skilled workforce they need to grow and prosper.

Building on previous collaborative activity, the project will help provide equipment and skills training needed in key sectors and in response to urgent calls from business for skills that are vital across the whole economy.

The project is being carried out with the full support of Surrey and Hampshire Chambers of Commerce, alongside Surrey and Hampshire County Councils and other business networks, to help ensure local residents and businesses can access high-quality, technical education and training that meets local future skills.

Sparsholt College Group, will be leading the delivery of the £6 million government project, funded by the Department for Education, and in response to the findings of the Local Skills Improvement Plan report, published by Surrey Chambers of Commerce.

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