From education to employment

Economic impact estimates point to positive future for new Cannock Skills and Innovation Hub

The newly announced further education facility in Cannock Chase District, Cannock Chase Skills and Innovation Hub, is predicted to boost employment opportunities for an estimated 450 young people in its first year alone, following the release of new economic impact estimates.

The result of a joint partnership venture between South Staffordshire College and Cannock Chase Council, the Hub – which opened its doors recently – is set to increase employability, help to meet the needs of local and regional employers, and advance the District’s growing economy.

According to the `Economic Impact of South Staffordshire College in Cannock Chase: Draft Evidence Base, May 2018` produced by Cannock Chase Council, Cannock has seen an increase of educational attainment in the area in recent years, with the number of residents aged 16-64 qualified to NVQ Level 3 or above jumping from 41% in 2014, to 53.7% last year. Despite this, the figures still sit well below the overall average for Great Britain, which was 57.2% in 2017. The Skills and Innovation Hub will address this problem by delivering courses, training and apprenticeships to residents across the district.  

Compared with every other District in Staffordshire, Cannock has the highest progression rate into further education. On average, 54.9% of the local mainstream school leavers progressing onto post-16 education choose to attend FE colleges instead of school sixth forms. This is a much higher figure than areas such as Lichfield, where only 36.8% of pupils chose the same. The area with the second most demand was Stafford, with an average of 50%.

Claire Boliver, Chief Executive Principal of South Staffordshire College, said:

“The Cannock Skills and Innovation Hub will benefit local employers, small businesses, start-ups, learners and job seekers, and we have seen from our comprehensive analyses that this will in turn have a very positive effect on our local community.”

“This facility is the result of months of careful consideration, due diligence and discussions with our stakeholders and key partners. We met with many of our employer partners this week who are excited about the opportunities the Hub will present, and we are all very much looking forward to welcoming our first set of learners this September.”

According to student destination data, South Staffordshire College learners are more likely to gain employment than those from any other provider of 16-18 education in Cannock Chase. The Cannock Skills and Innovation Hub will improve their career prospects, providing a much-needed skills boost to local employers.

With significant business and industrial expansion anticipated in coming years, including the McArthurGlen Designer Outlet Cannock, and the future development of the Rugeley Power Station site, the hub will allow local businesses to prosper with an increasingly skilled local workforce.

The new facility will feature an apprenticeship hub, also overseen by the College, which has the second highest proportion of students entering apprenticeships in the whole district.

Councillor George Adamson, Leader of Cannock Chase Council said:

“Further education is vital to the area, and whilst the current increase in attainment in Cannock is encouraging, it is also a trend we need to accelerate and are keen to build on.

“Our discussions with the College have been incredibly positive, and we commend them for this new venture and are committed to supporting the Hub and providing invaluable educational opportunities and raise skills levels among the local workforce.”

Learning opportunities will be provided in engineering / advanced manufacturing, electrical installation and electrical engineering, energy, construction, digital, health and social care and early years, and mathematics and English for employability.

The building will also house incubators for start-up businesses, and space for office use.

More details on courses provided by South Staffordshire College are available by calling 0300 456 24 24 or at

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