Strategic Development Fund (SDF)
The Strategic Development Fund was first introduced in 2021-22 alongside the Local Skills Improvement Plan to support the UK Government’s ‘Skills for Jobs’ initiative ‘to test a new approach to reshaping the technical skills system to better support the needs of the local labour market.’
Of the £92 million awarded to different regions of England, £2,722,906 was designated to the Greater Lincolnshire area, providing investment to institutions to aid them in creating new teaching and training provisions and update facilities to support these new Local Skills Initiative Plans.
Welcoming 4,500 students to their trio of campuses annually, Boston College delivers high quality education to students throughout the Lincolnshire area. Offering more than 250 courses, up to and including university level.
In 2023, Boston College is embarking on a low carbon initiative with the aim of providing practical training for students, faculty, and local businesses. This initiative prioritises education that supports sustainable technology whilst also enriching the trade-force in the local area.
As the aim of the project was to update their training facilities to provide planet-conscious teaching to students and businesses in the local area, it made sense that Boston College reached out to Rolec to support them. Also a Boston-based company, Rolec are known in the area as pioneers in low-carbon technology and have been operating in the EV industry for 15 years, and it was this experience that drew Boston College to reach out.
Boston college’s proposal for the project outlined two primary initiatives. The first of which concerned encouraging staff and students to invest in greener technologies by introducing on-site electric vehicle charging. This charging network would need to provide sufficient chargepoint access to up to 4,500 students annually, as well as their new EV fleet vehicle.
The college’s secondary and potentially most impactful initiative revolved around implementing robust training frameworks to educate the next generation of electrical installers. Demonstrating the practicalities of EV chargepoint installation to students at the college in an engaging and comprehensive manner and opening this information to local businesses and professionals. Equipment would be needed to support the delivery of the City & Guilds EV Installation course and facilitate hands-on teaching and learning.
Phase One of Boston College’s low carbon initiative was the introduction of their public charging network. Rolec provided the college with dual-socketed 22kW Quantum pedestals, to be installed at their Rochford campus. To add to their chargepoint network, the college opted for a dual socketed 7.4kW SecuriCharge unit to be used for their company fleet vehicle, futureproofed to allow for growth as the EV fleet expands.
To facilitate practical training, Rolec worked alongside the college to provide four 7.4kW WallPod units, used to create two bespoke student training rigs. These mobile training rigs allowed for students to gain the practical skills needed to embark on their future careers as electrical contractors and EV chargepoint installers. Rolec also supplied fully branded WallPod and Zura units for students to practice the full installation process, from unpackaging the unit all the way through to commissioning. Providing this full scope of technology means that the college will benefit from a comprehensive and robust training system that incorporates all elements of the installation and commissioning process.
Thanks to the tech provided by Rolec, Boston College was able to successfully carry out outreach to primary and secondary school students in local schools. Giving over 1000 young learners their first taste of the green tech industry and the innovation working to solidify their future on a green planet.
Taster sessions have already begun for students looking to train as an EV chargepoint specialist. 68 level 2, 3 and adult learners have benefited from these sessions as the college begins to introduce the City & Guilds EV installation course. Once framework is in place to begin teaching, the course will be made available to students and lecturers and for free to local businesses. Enriching the local area with industry specific knowledge.
‘The technology we have supplied to Boston College will allow them to educate the next generation of EV chargepoint installers. Something that is paramount in creating a foundation that aims to give back to our planet whilst also benefiting the skill set of the local labour-force.
We are proud that our work with Boston College has given us the unique opportunity to develop education in our local community and support the structures needed to create greener technologies in the years to come.’ – James Jarvis, Senior Business Development Manager, Rolec Services