Hereford-based NMITE awarded a European Social Fund grant to engage with businesses

NMITE artist’s impression

NMITE (New Model Institute for Technology and Engineering), the unique institute which is planning to deliver adifferent model of higher education to develop work-ready, engineers, has been awarded a European Social Fund grant to develop contemporary careers advice and skills in Herefordshire’s business communities. 

Activities will run through until December 2023 and Herefordshire will see NMITE going live with its plans from May with the setting up of a Future Skills Group and a series of Employer Engagement Forums. 

NMITE’s programme comprises three key areas of focus:  

1) Helping SMEs and Microbusinesses understand gaps and opportunities in their current and future workforce and offering support to enable them to reach their growth potential 

2) Engaging SMEs and Microbusinesses with educators (schools, colleges, FE and HEIs) through extracurricular workshops to help individuals gain skills relevant to the needs of the local labour market  

3) Developing enterprise and entrepreneurship skills amongst young people to inspire a new generation of entrepreneurs who can start and grow businesses in the county.  

Toby Kinnaird, Head of Partnerships at NMITE who is heading up the programme comments: “This has the potential to be one of the most transformative projects from NMITE for the Herefordshire business community which is characterised by its high proportion of SME employers. We really believe the future Herefordshire-wide graduate training programme, amongst other initiatives, will help make Herefordshire businesses more appealing on a national scale.” 

NMITE’s project is run in collaboration with Herefordshire Council and training provider Herefordshire and Worcestershire Group Training Association. NMITE encourages local SMEs and Microbusinesses who are interested in any of their elements, for example the Employer Engagement Forum, Future Skills Group or Business Skills Gap Coaching as well as local educational establishments wanting to become involved to get in touch direct by emailing: toby.kinnaird@nmite.ac.uk 

NMITE is supported by the Herefordshire community, Herefordshire Council, Olin College of Engineering (USA), professional engineering bodies and the UKGovernment, which awarded up to £23 million in initial funding. £8 million of this funding was awarded by the Marches LEP via its Growth Deal with Government. A further £400k was awarded enhance an additional building on the Blackfriars site and, in August 2020, £1.6m to accelerate the delivery of the Centre for Automated Manufacture (SkylonPark) in response to the Government’s call for projects that can be brought forward to stimulate the economy.