KEIGHLEY College is sharing in a £6.9 million Government windfall to 'digitise' teaching and learning in key sectors.

The Bradford Road campus is part of the West Yorkshire Consortium of Colleges, which has secured the Local Skills Improvement Fund cash from the Department for Education.

Using the funding, the colleges and partner organisations will develop digitised training provision to meet skills priorities.

Specialist hubs and academies will be opened.

The investment will include equipment and resources needed to use virtual reality, artificial intelligence and robotics to give colleges the means to develop in-demand skills.

Joanne Patrickson, the consortium's project director, says: "This is a fantastic opportunity for the region to advance the skills needed in technology to keep up with industry changes.

"Not only will the funding of new equipment help to improve the learning experience in colleges, but the collaboration between our partners will grow the skills and knowledge of the teaching staff who can deliver relevant training to the current and future workforce."

Other colleges benefitting from the funding include Bradford and Shipley, as well as Calderdale, Kirklees, Leeds College of Building and the Heart of Yorkshire Education Group.

A purpose-built hub will be run by Keighley College in collaboration with employers, to enable students to gain workplace experience in everything from advanced engineering and robotics to IT networks and cyber security.

Keighley College principal, Kevin O’Hare, says: "We’re pleased to have secured funding to support our ongoing push to deliver first-class training in areas like engineering, manufacturing, construction and emerging technologies.

"These are all key growth industries which our district is well positioned to take advantage of and specialise in; but they are also currently being held back due to skills shortages.

"Our ultimate goal is to give our students the skills that will open up life-changing work and study opportunities. The innovative digital teaching techniques this money will fund – along with the creation of our new manufacturing, engineering and future technologies hub and our partnership work with employers and other further education providers – will enable us to do just that.

"We’re proud to have been an integral part of this great community for nearly 200 years; the college has been training people since the industrial revolution. It's a privilege for us, two centuries later, to be playing a key role in delivering the skills people need to flourish during the 21st century’s technological revolution."