New partnership set to upskill workforce and advance research to achieve more sustainable future

New partnership set to upskill workforce

An exciting agreement aiming to reshape the educational and economic landscape of the South West in pursuit of green goals has been signed by the University of Bristol and Bridgwater & Taunton College.

Focused on supporting the UK’s transition to a net-zero economy, the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) sets a new benchmark for higher and further education partnerships which will supercharge workforce development and research.

The partnership formalises the commitment of both institutions to leverage strengths and harness their collective experience and resources. Together, they will act as a catalyst for technological advancement, supporting development and innovation to drive the regional response to deliver the ambitious clean and inclusive growth strategy of Gravity, the UK’s first smart campus.

Andy Berry, Principal and CEO of Bridgwater & Taunton College, said: “Together with the University of Bristol, we are poised to revolutionise how education supports not just the immediate needs of our community, but also the long-term workforce requirements of innovative projects like Gravity. This MoU is a testament to our shared commitment to fostering a future-ready workforce equipped to meet the challenges of our rapidly evolving world.”

Professor Evelyn Welch, Vice-Chancellor and President at the University of Bristol, added“We are delighted to enter this agreement, which further strengthens our relationship with Bridgwater & Taunton College and will play a vital role in developing the regional workforce as well as driving forward innovation.

The Gravity smart campus offers a key gateway to progressive research, advancing the journey towards net-zero while also supporting training and careers in energy futures. We look forward to working with the College to nurture local talent and help deliver sustainable, inclusive growth to help meet the pressing challenges posed by climate change.”

The MoU outlines a framework for collaborative projects and initiatives which will create a unified approach to addressing the skills gap in sectors critical to achieving a net-zero economy. It also sets the stage for both institutions to work closely with industry leaders and other educational providers to ensure the South West leads in strategic responses to emerging economic sectors.

Claire Pearce, Director of Planning & Economic Development at Gravity, said: “Our Skills Charter creates the leadership opportunity for employer engagement and workforce development to align with our mission to create decent work and inclusive economic growth for local communities.  We are thrilled to see a proactive partnership response and early progress to support occupiers and ensure that local talent has ample opportunity to navigate through education pathways to secure high-quality jobs at the Gravity smart campus. This MoU marks a significant step forward in achieving that mission.”

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