Strategic Development Fund Decarbonisation in Construction

In October 2021 MidKent College, in partnership with EKC Group and North Kent College, secured a share of the Government's Strategic Development Fund to develop and deliver education and training interventions that would support decarbonisation in Kent's major industrial sectors. 

Our focus here at MidKent College is to accelerate decarbonisation in Construction, a discipline in which we have decades of experience in equipping young people and adults with the skills they need for work. 

At a strategic level, we are responding to the Kent and Medway Economic Partnership’s new Workforce Skills Evidence Base (May 2021), a comprehensive analysis of all existing labour market and skills data and forecasts, and new primary research with employers from key sectors. The analysis identifies the following key skills issues and challenges faced by the sub-region:·

  • The workforce already lags behind the national average on qualifications at Level 3 and above, and demand for intermediate and higher level skills is forecast to grow significantly. 
  • Better alignment is needed between the skills offer and skills demand.
  • Skills demand in the sector is being transformed by macro trends which are also strongly evidenced at local level, in particular decarbonisation and digitalisation.

Our priorities have been validated through consultation with individual employers, and we have also considered key supporting national evidence of demand, including:

  • The recently published Industrial Decarbonisation Strategy where the government sets out activities to support Levelling Up priorities in terms of the skills transition for current and future employees.
  • The CITB Building Skills for Net Zero, a skills routemap for the construction industry, identifying the roles and expertise employers need to meet the requirements for the UK.
  • The Manufacturing Technologies Association’s recent Decarbonisation: Future Growth for Manufacturing which highlights the need for skills and training to be compatible with low-carbon resource-efficient production.

The project will deliver three identified themes: 

1) The creation of a Sustainable Home Heating Centre to accelerate the College's capacity to deliver new courses on the installation of Heat Source Pumps, including training to access Government home heating grants to support the race to Net Zero Carbon. 

2) A 'Green Skills' Trade to Teaching Programme that will develop the capacity to deliver new green skills provision in construction and meet current and future skills needs to drive decarbonisation in construction. 

3) The creation of a Zero Carbon Construction Skills Factory from recycled modular building stock, employing retrofitting technology to showcase and deliver a national/regional centre of excellence in sustainable construction technologies. 

For more information about each theme, click the buttons below: