BARNSLEY College has announced a series of new ‘academy’ partnerships to help upskill and develop the workforce for the future.

The number of academies has now expanded to 16, with more partnerships in areas including sport, construction and business set to be announced.

The college has partnered with Barnsley Premier Leisure (BPL) – a charitable trust which operates health, fitness and leisure facilities – electronics firm Fujitsu, and automotive parts supplier Universal Components for its latest academies.

David Akeroyd, the college’s principal and CEO, said: “Our academies are really integral to the place that we think that we hold within the business community but probably even more within the community of Barnsley.

“We hand-pick the organisations that we want to work with – it’s not a commercial partnership, it’s a values and vision-based partnership.

“We look for partners who share our vision and values and want to work with those who support the development of the future workforce and people of Barnsley.

“What’s really important about the partnership with BPL is the vision we both share around a healthier, wealthier and happier community.

“Similarly, working together with Fujitsu we can really invigorate and inspire the next generation of young people who want to enter digital industries, whereas the Universal Components academy is all about how we can help them to inspire talent and get young people to want to work in an industry like theirs.”