‘Kernow-Galactic!’ New skills project discusses the future of Cornish innovation

Cornwall’s future as a key player in Space and Technology was discussed in enthusiastic roundtable discussions as leaders of innovative Cornish Engineering and Manufacturing businesses and training providers outlined how best to ‘upskill’ Cornwall to thrive and compete globally as part of a new European Social Funded project.

Innovation in Higher Level Skills Curriculum Area Lead Prasanth Panicker (second_left) discusses future skills needs with Cornish businesses

Innovation in Higher Level Skills Curriculum Area Lead Prasanth Panicker (second_left) discusses future skills needs with Cornish businesses

Keynote Speakers, including Miles Carden, Director of Spaceport Cornwall and David Walrond, Principal of Truro and Penwith College, discussed Cornwall’s space-related future and other opportunities at the ‘Engineering your Future Workforce’ event at the National Maritime Museum. There were speeches, workshop sessions and networking opportunities.

Miles Carden of Spaceport Cornwall spoke of their future plans, including the Horizontal Launch of 5G Spectrum satellites using Virgin Orbiter, and business cluster opportunities—where space opportunities for Cornwall can create a hub of business innovation and technology excellence and a whole new sector of the economy in Cornwall.

He said: “Thanks to Truro and Penwith College and Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Growth Programme for the invite to highlight future skills opportunities and the chance to inspire young people to seek technology and Space-based futures.”

David Walrond, discussed strategic and training opportunities for the Engineering and Manufacturing sectors in Cornwall, the upcoming introduction of the new ‘T-Level’ qualification, and challenges, including gender ratios in technology areas, demographics, historic skills gaps and lack of opportunities, rates of pay, high living costs and how the education and training landscape is changing.

Representatives of Cornish businesses network at the ‘Engineering your Future Workforce’ event

Representatives of Cornish businesses network at the ‘Engineering your Future Workforce’ event

Truro and Penwith College is already known as a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) leader and for its close consultation with employers to develop training programmes, so is looking forward to working with organisations like the Spaceport to develop Higher Level training programmes in STEM that will attract learners to these areas to ensure Cornwall has the skills it needs for future success.

This event was the first by the ‘Innovation in Higher Level Skills’ project with £1.97 million from the European Social Fund to work with businesses to help overcome the skills gaps and barriers they face by working with them to design the solutions. The innovative project comes just weeks after it was announced the College would also be part of the Institute of Technology in the South West, a multi-million pound initiative that will revolutionise digital, engineering and manufacturing technology education.

  Closing skills-gaps by co-designing and trialling new courses and training, alternative delivery models and high-quality work placements, the project plans to work closely with businesses to help fill their needs and develop the skills, new talent, opportunities, increased productivity, improved competitiveness and the development of new products or services that businesses need to thrive in the coming era.

And they want to hear from more businesses to find out how they can work with them. It’s not too late for your business to get involved, and you can email ESF_Innovation@truro-penwith.ac.uk to find out more.

Representatives of Cornish businesses network at the ‘Engineering your Future Workforce’ event

Representatives of Cornish businesses network at the ‘Engineering your Future Workforce’ event