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Pembrokeshire College, Merlins Bridge, Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, SA61 1SZ

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SPARC Alliance Gains Momentum with Swansea Bay City Deal Funding

Student wearing virtual reality headset.

Exciting developments are underway for the SPARC Alliance, as the initiative receives additional funding from the Swansea Bay City Deal, Skills & Talent Fund.

This crucial support marks a significant stride in advancing the SPARC careers programme, designed to actively involve females in traditionally underrepresented sectors, with a particular focus on energy and construction.

“This project is a strong partnership between business and Further Education that will develop the future workforce by creating the awareness of the opportunities that are on the horizon within Pembrokeshire and the South West Wales region. This project will be focusing on encouraging females to consider careers within the energy and construction sectors and we hope to see many more females taking up the opportunities that will be created across the region”. Jane Lewis, Regional Partnership Manager.

Recognising the untapped potential of female talent is a priority on the industry’s skills agenda, this initiative has the potential to make a substantial impact on Pembrokeshire’s labour market, especially with the accelerating growth of the green energy sector.

In a collaborative effort, industry leaders such as RWE Renewables, Blue Gem Wind, Floventis, Ledwood Engineering, and The Port of Milford Haven have partnered with educational institutions like Pembrokeshire College and local secondary schools. Together, they aim to elevate the visibility of women in these industries.

“SPARC presents a truly transformational opportunity for our young female learners to instil curiosity, raise aspiration and promote participation in engaging with SPARC specific qualifications, post-16 pathways and employment”. Rob Hillier, Pembrokeshire County Council.

The SPARC Alliance, working in conjunction with skill boards, is set to embark on a comprehensive engagement framework development in the coming year. The goal is to roll out this framework across Pembrokeshire in September 2024.

The grant funding secured from the Skills and Talent project will play a pivotal role in supporting SPARC Practitioner positions within schools. These dedicated roles will ensure the successful delivery of the engagement framework over the two-year pilot programme. Female learners will benefit from a range of opportunities, including guest speaker sessions, mentorship programmes for career progression, developing curiosity, building confidence, honing problem-solving skills, and promoting teamwork.

Notably, the alliance has expanded its network with the inclusion of ERM, the world’s largest advisory firm exclusively focused on sustainability, and Morgan Sindall Construction, bringing their invaluable expertise in construction and the built environment to the initiative. The SPARC Alliance is poised for continued growth and success, thanks to these strategic partnerships and dedicated efforts to powering progress for females in these critical industries.

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