The launch of a new partnership will help to meet skills demand at Discovery Park, the life science and innovation campus near Sandwich in Kent.

Discovery Park has brought together the combined expertise of Canterbury Christ Church University, EKC Group, Pfizer, The Stem Hub and University of Kent in order to create the Skills Hub as a way for tenants to offer further training to their workforce, as well as helping them to find new talent to drive their businesses forward.

Announcing the launch of Skills Hub, Jane Kennedy, Chief Business Officer at Discovery Park, said: “Gaining access to people with the right skills continues to be one of the biggest challenges facing businesses of all sizes and in many sectors: this is our way to help.

“Access to skills is critical to improving business productivity and strengthening the Kent economy. The Skills Hub will connect more than 160 organisations based at Discovery Park with the area’s young people and adults looking to retrain. It will tap into the combined expertise of our partners, including our local further education college groups and universities, and ensure there is a pipeline of talent.”

The Skills Hub will help companies navigate the complex landscape of qualifications, from work placements and traineeships, through internships and apprenticeships to graduates. It will also help promote awareness among businesses of the recently created T Levels, which are the equivalent of three A Levels and designed to meet the needs of industry.

Abbie Kempe, Head of Enterprise and Engagement at Canterbury Christ Church University, said: “We are delighted to be part of this unique partnership that aims to break down the barriers to accessing skills development. The Skills Hub will make it easier for Industry to access our student and graduate talent and connect with our academic expertise, providing a platform to inspire and support a new generation of skills and initiatives”

Jonathan Smith, Director of Stakeholder Engagement at EKC Group, added: “Our Group’s mission is to play a leading part in enhancing the social and economic prosperity of the communities we serve, and through this partnership we’ll be helping deliver against that key agenda of ours.

“We’re excited to work in collaboration with our partners to ensure that the Skills Hub serves the needs of businesses at Discovery Park and acts as a catalyst for their continued growth by developing the next generation of skilled employees.”

Thanks to the combined expertise of the partners in the Skills Hub, companies will also be able to foster knowledge transfers with academia and industry, as well as forge stronger digital skills within the workforce.

Caption from left: Pictured are Toby Lucas-Smith (Enterprise & Engagement Manager at CCCU), Abbie Kempe (Head of Enterprise & Engagement at CCCU), Charlotte Goode (Enterprise & Engagement Manager at CCCU), Jonathan Smith (Director of Stakeholder Engagement at EKC), Kimberley Anderson (Skills & Community Manager for Discovery Park) & Karen Wheeler (WorkHigher Business Development Manager at EKC)