03 May 2017

Project to safeguard future workforce to be launched at the Gloucestershire Business Show

The first stage of an innovative new project designed to support local businesses by identifying the skills gaps and training shortages within the region is being launched at the Gloucestershire Business Show, held at the Cheltenham Racecourse on 17-18 May.

The Education Developing Gloucestershire’s Employability (EDGE) Project is a pioneering scheme that aims to make a difference to the region’s future workforce by working with students, employers and education providers, focusing on the business and economic needs of Gloucestershire. The project will identify skills gaps and shortages, as well as aiming to retain the talent and knowledge in the county after learners graduate. The EDGE project is being led by South Gloucestershire and Stroud College (SGS) and supported by Cirencester, Hartpury and Gloucestershire Colleges.

EDGE will engage at least 450 of Gloucestershire’s micro, small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to ascertain how to make education in schools and college as well as careers, advice and guidance, more relevant to the real world of work.

The first stage of this research will be gathered throughout the Business Show. The evidence gathered from employers will be utilised to develop an innovative curriculum as well as an Information, Advice and Guidance (IAG) offer for schools and colleges that will be relevant to the local economy and in line with the growth needs of the county. Through engaging with local businesses the project group will broker collaborative projects, work placements and internships lasting between three and six months enabling at least 575 students and graduates to gain industry relevant experience and skills.

Speaking about EDGE, Sara-Jane Watkins, Principal of SGS College said: “The EDGE project is an opportunity to create positive change and leave a lasting legacy for Gloucestershire. The success of the project will be determined by everyone involved working collaboratively. If you’re a business of 1-249 employees and are wondering how you can get involved, please contact us without delay. There are limited numbers of businesses that can take advantage of this unique opportunity.”

The EDGE project, which is supported by GFirst LEP and funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) started in December 2016 and will continue through to July 2018, during which time there will be a challenging set of milestones with a clear objective of leaving a lasting legacy.

To get involved or find out more please contact Mel Packham or email: