Devonport Futures project supporting people into work

19 June 24


A partnership project between Real Ideas Organisation, Plymouth Community Homes, Devon Chamber of Commerce and the National Trust has successfully secured £234,000 of funding to help people build their skills and find gainful employment through a brand-new initiative.

The funding was awarded by the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (on behalf of the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities) to deliver learning and work experiences to residents in the Devonport area.

The Devonport Futures project will focus on growing blue-green and immersive digital skills; particularly focussed on upskilling the local community with valuable digital skills to meet fast-growing need in the createch industries; delivering net carbon zero retrofit projects on buildings; and connecting communities to nature.  The project reflects Plymouth’s commitment to inclusive economic growth, climate emergency, the National Marine Park and Devonport’s historic connection with the sea.

Participants will be able to develop new skills, access residencies, gain work experience, volunteering and connections to local employers – giving businesses the workforce they need by filling skills gaps in the city.   

The project will create a series of pathways to allow people to grow and apply their talents by linking support and work opportunities to the Devonport 200th anniversary – connecting learning with real experience.

Devonport Futures is targeted at those aged 18+ who are unemployed, seeking new or additional employment, or looking for progression or development opportunities.

There will be fully subsidised, entry and higher level Immersive Digital Skills training at Real Ideas’ Market Hall;  introductory and specific skills sessions with City College Plymouth’s Retrofit Academy; work experience and volunteering linked to immersive, and practical projects for Devonport 200, other green initiatives across the city (in partnership with The National Trust) plus creative commissioning opportunities linked to the Devonport 200 celebrations.

They will also have access to individual funding and be supported by a dedicated Plymouth Community Homes Resident Learning Coordinator.

The PCH Resident Learning Coordinator role is currently being recruited to. If you are interested in knowing more or applying, please visit our vacancies page. The purpose of this role is to coordinate, implement and report on the programmes which achieve the aims of the partnership.

Alice Potter, PCH Communities Team Manager describes what the project means for residents of PCH and Devonport: “We were delighted when we heard the news that the partnership funding bid had been successful. The project benefits from having a wide variety of partner organisations collaborating, and residents will be supported through bespoke training on subjects they may not have considered before. It compliments PCHs’ objectives for decarbonisation, providing great communities, and growing our existing Learn For Free training programme.”

Lenna Bithell, Finance & Contract Management Lead for the Real Ideas Organisation added: “Devonport Futures looks to deliver training and work experience programmes that directly fills skills gaps in the city. Participants will be able to access ‘360 immersive’ technology learning experiences, and gain access to employers, whilst supporting their community. It’s a great project and we’re looking forward to getting started.”    







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