The BPIF has secured a 1.1m funding package from the Government to offer 200 fully-funded places on a degree-like qualification developed specifically for the print industry.
"This is mega, whoever thinks that the government doesn’t get the print industry might just have to think again," said BPIF chief executive Kathy Woodward.
The Employer Ownership Pilot (EOP) is jointly funded by the Department for Innovation and Skills and the Department for Education and its goal is to empower businesses to develop and deliver the skills needed for growth.
The BPIF is one of only two trade associations on the roster of 34 successful bids, garnered from 269 applications, with other successful bidders including BAE, Nissan, Siemens and Rolls Royce. The association’s bid was in partnership with Berforts, to satisfy the criteria of the EOP. The successful first round bids totalled £67m and were unveiled by Business Secretary Vince Cable this week.
Speaking at the launch, he said: "The breadth and scope of these projects show how central skills are to our long-term competiveness, across all sectors and in all corners of the country. I’m delighted that these employers have taken this challenge."
While the BPIF’s funding is initially targeted at companies in its eastern region, Woodward said that she hoped companies from all over the UK would get involved, both BPIF members and non members.
The scheme will cover a two-year period and the formal, ‘in company’, project-based programme is an NVQ level 5 Management qualification from the Institute of Leadership & Management. This will be complemented by 16 separate day long-seminar modules over the two years, covering things such as HR, production and technology to contextualise the qualification for the print industry and each one will be repeated six times across different locations and at different times, including evenings and weekends.
The training will be delivered by BPIF Training as well as range of independent experts.
"The thing that is really exciting about it is that it’s almost a university for all, because you don’t have to do the central qualification to attend the seminars, so it’s really inclusive," said Woodward.
"Anybody within the industry can attend the seminars, so it really is education for all."
Technically the scheme’s funding is for 200 places, but Woodward is hopeful of increasing the geographic reach and number of places on the pilot scheme because the economies of scale mean it may be possible to substantially increase the number of places if there was a high demand.
The grant is subject to due diligence, but the BPIF plans to launch the programme in October to begin processing applications, with a view to the course beginning in January 2013.Tweet
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