LSC pumps over £10 million into skills centres

Regional airline Flybe is set to get £7.1m in public funding to help expand its Exeter training facility.

The award comprises £4.3m from the Learning & Skills Council (LSC) and £2.8m from the South West Regional Development Agency.

The LSC is also providing £5.9m for a construction skills centre in Waltham Forest, East London.

The £10m-plus initiatives were announced recently when skills minister Kevin Brennan visited the Flybe centre.

He said: “The opportunities these centres offer will not only benefit learners in the long term but will help to address unemployment and provide the skills needed to work on major engineering and construction projects.”

Flybe chief executive Jim French said: “Now this [funding] is secured we can finally go ahead with fulfilling our commitment to the region by building our world-class training facility here in Exeter.”

The Flybe Training Academy will provide 200 jobs, many of them involving training in aircraft maintenance, customer care and cabin crew skills. It will also provide apprenticeships.

Flybe was the first airline to sign the Skills Pledge, in June 2007, and was one of the first three employers to be accredited by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority to award formal qualifications for workplace learning.

The East London construction skills centre, part of the National Skills Academy for Construction, will deliver training to about 5,000 local people, said the LSC.

Much of the training will be delivered through apprenticeships.

The funding for both initiatives will come from the LSC’s Capital Specialisation Fund, which provides capital for non-college providers of training and education.

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