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RGU celebrates regional recovery cash award

By Alan Beresford

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ROBERT Gordon University (RGU) has been awarded £1.7 million as part of the recently announced Economic Recovery and Skills Fund for north-east Scotland.

RGU has been awarded £1.7 million to support a number of recovery projects in the north-east.
RGU has been awarded £1.7 million to support a number of recovery projects in the north-east.

The fund is a £14.3 million investment by the Scottish Government to support economic recovery and enhance skill levels in the north-east through new economic growth, employment, training, and skills development opportunities.

Activities supported by the fund will be delivered by a number of strategic regional partners, which in addition to RGU are: Aberdeen City Council; Aberdeenshire Council; Skills Development Scotland; University of Aberdeen; Opportunity North East; Energy Transition Zone Limited; Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce.

RGU will use its funding to deliver initiatives focused on entrepreneurship, health, social care, and upskilling, supporting those that are most disadvantaged or affected by the impact of energy transition on the region or the pandemic, either individually or because of the sector they work in.

In support of health and social care, which has been under such pressure throughout the pandemic, RGU will work with Skills Development Scotland and partners in the sector to plan a development pathway to support those working there. The university will also develop and deliver a suite of online short courses where there are significant vacancies, enabling people to upskill as well as opening up opportunities for individuals considering a job in health and social care.

Another of RGU’s projects in the next year is the delivery of an accelerator programme aimed at early-stage innovators and entrepreneurs across the nort-east, to support them to go on to create sustainable and scalable ventures. RGU has already delivered three successful accelerator programmes open for its own and North East Scotland College’s staff, students and alumni and will now go on to offer the same opportunity to the wider region.

Donella Beaton, Vice-Principal for Economic Development at RGU, said: “The Scottish Government has recognised and is helping to address the particular challenges faced by Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire at this time, by the very welcome support of the Economic Recovery and Skills Fund.

“Through the £1.7 million allocated to RGU, the university will deliver projects where there is opportunity for growth within the region and where it can really add value, including areas such as online courses, help for business start-ups and for new graduates and development activities in support of health and social care – a sector that has given so much but where there are many job vacancies that cannot be filled.

“The fund will enable RGU to deliver on its long-standing commitment to supporting communities and businesses and to stimulating economic development in the region. Throughout the pandemic RGU has worked with partners and used government programmes to help companies find new ways of doing business and helped individuals to upskill or reskill. The new funds will allow us to focus our efforts and accelerate that work, and with our partners, to help the region recover and prosper.

“We recognise that some people will need extra help to engage in some of the programmes and so we are delighted that the Scottish Government has recognised that by providing funding to enable us to offer that help.”

As part of the fund programme, RGU will also carry out a major energy workforce transferability review for the region, develop a wide range of entrepreneurship and upskilling short courses, host an intensive enterprise school for graduates of any university or college living in the region who completed their studies in 2020 or 2021, and will provide additional support for those that are finding it hard to find work or study or to help them participate in the various programmes.

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