Robert Gordon University (RGU) has been awarded £1.7million to help support economic recovery and enhance skill levels in the north-east.
The recently announced Economic Recovery and Skills Fund is a £14.3m investment from the Scottish Government for regional recovery.
The money will be used to develop new economic growth, employment training and skills development opportunities delivered by RGU and other regional partners.
In Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, these include: Aberdeen City Council, Aberdeenshire Council, Skills Development Scotland, Aberdeen University, Opportunity North East, Energy Transition Zone Limited and Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce.
RGU plans to use the funding to deliver entrepreneurship, health, social care and upskilling initiatives to those who are most disadvantaged or affected by the energy transition and the pandemic.
Supporting communities and businesses
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 £1.7M 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.”
Funding goes a long way
The university is also delivering an accelerator programme aimed at early-stage innovators and entrepreneurs so they can create “sustainable and scalable ventures”.
Three successful accelerator programmes have already been delivered to RGU and North East Scotland College’s staff, students and alumni and will now be offered to the wider region.
Funding will allow RGU to carry out a major energy workforce transferability review for the north-east alongside the development of short courses and an intensive enterprise school for recent graduates.
Further, additional support will be provided to those who are facing challenges when finding work or study opportunities.