GCP Board approves multi-million investments in skills programme and transport projects

GCP Board approves multi-million investments in skills programme and transport projects

Published: Friday, October 02, 2020

A £2m expanded skills programme to help people retrain and find work in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic has been approved by the Greater Cambridge Partnership Executive Board.

Members agreed to a new four-year contract to build on the success of the Greater Cambridge Apprenticeship service, which has significantly increased apprenticeship take up in the area and given hundreds of people careers advice, helped them find work, and learn new skills.

The GCP’s Executive Board also gave the green light for work to start on £35m of new dedicated cycling Greenways and commissioned public consultations on the Waterbeach to Cambridge and Cambridge Eastern Access schemes, which are looking at creating dedicated public transport routes alongside provision for cycling, walking, and other ‘active travel’.

Cllr Roger Hickford said: “This investment in skills will help to provide support, advice and access to work for hundreds of people, which will become vital during the economic recovery from Covid-19. It will also help businesses to take on apprentices and help them find the right people for the roles they have available.

“The A10 and A1134 routes suffer from significant congestion, with thousands of new homes and jobs planned in the area, so it is vital we invest in better public transport and walking and cycling routes now to help people travel around quickly and safely without relying on a car, so we can cut congestion and improve air quality. I look forward to seeing what people think about our plans in the public consultations that will launch later this autumn.”

The ambitious skills proposals – a £1.5m increase on the current programme – include an enhanced package of activities to help people retrain and to support businesses find the right people for the roles they have available.

These activities include:

  • the development of a ‘Cambridge Curriculum’ to prepare students for the unique work opportunities found in Greater Cambridge.
  • intensive support for adults looking to retrain.
  • improved mentoring, placement and apprenticeship opportunities.
  • targeted support for employers to help them access funding and to improve their offer of progression routes (e.g. apprenticeships) to young people.

Public consultations on the Waterbeach to Cambridge and Cambridge Eastern Access schemes will launch in the coming weeks.

These projects – along with other dedicated public transport, cycling and walking routes – aim to reduce congestion along major traffic corridors, improve air quality and form an integral part of the Cambridgeshire Autonomous Metro (CAM) in the future.

The five Greater Cambridge Greenways routes are part of a £35m investment into walking and cycling. These routes are:

  • Barton Greenway
  • Bottisham Greenway
  • Horningsea Greenway
  • Sawston Greenway
  • Swaffhams Greenway

The GCP has already agreed six other Greenways with the Haslingfield route due before the Board for a decision in December.

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