A new community interest company is being set up, supported by Watford Borough Council and Hertfordshire LEP, to bring education and employment closer together.
Skillmakers is a membership organisation led by local businesses, community groups and education providers. They will help local employers work with schools and colleges to give students careers advice, and develop qualifications and a curriculum to fit business requirements. In the community they will work with local businesses and voluntary organisations to help them to offer more apprenticeships, traineeships and graduate opportunities.
With major new developments happening in Watford, job growth is predicted to rise to over 7000 by 2031. The Charter Place redevelopment alone looks set to create 1,900 new jobs across the construction, retail, hospitality and leisure sectors.
Skillmakers will be funded by its members, who will pay an annual fee, dependent on the size of their organisation. It will be staffed by three people – a manager and two co-ordinators, employed on a full time basis.
Gill Worgan, Principal of West Herts College and Chair of Skillmakers, said: “This is about making sure that working age people in Watford have the right skills and experience to get the jobs that will be created in the town. And also making sure education providers and businesses are able to support and guide them.”
Lisa Clark, Freedom Communications, said “This is really fresh, innovative approach to skills and training. We hope to boost the life chances for everyone in the town, giving them new employment and learning opportunities’. This is our vision and we are confident we can build – and retain - a strong future workforce for Watford.”