Southwark invests £5m in future of borough’s young people

2 April 2017

A £5m investment in further education opportunities for Southwark’s young people has been given the go-ahead by the council.

The council’s Cabinet has agreed the funding which will go towards the creation of the Passmore Centre – a new hub at London South Bank University (LSBU) for high quality professional and technical courses.

Recent market research undertaken by the council indicates a rising demand from local employers for a more highly educated and skilled workforce, with a particular demand in construction, manufacturing and engineering, health, public services, hospitality and retail.

Employer engagement will be at the heart of the Passmore Centre, which will sit within the newly created Institute for Professional and Technical Education (IPTE), and will build on LSBU’s strong track record of working with employers with over 37% of their students sponsored by business and government in key areas of local demand.

Importantly, the Centre will also build stronger links between Southwark secondary schools and LSBU so that students are aware of the high quality further education opportunities available within their own borough.

Councillor Peter John, Leader of Southwark Council, said: “In September 2016 the council made a commitment to do all we can to support a high quality further education and skills offer in Southwark. But a commitment is only worth something if action follows, which is why we are making this £5 million investment in the Passmore Centre to create a gateway for learners into higher professional and technical education – an investment that will equip 1,000 Southwark residents to achieve high quality apprenticeships and give them the skills to take up the jobs demanded of the future.”

Professor David Phoenix, Vice-Chancellor of LSBU said: “Southwark’s £5 million grant to the Passmore Centre means that this project is now a reality and LSBU can further develop our capacity to meet the UK’s national shortfall in professional and technical skills in partnership with the local council.

“By 2020, we envisage 2000 students every year, taking apprenticeships at LSBU, with around 600 achieving higher degree apprenticeship qualifications or the equivalent.”

The Passmore Centre project is due to be completed in summer 2018.

Page last updated: 02 April 2017