Skills, training and education

To achieve and maintain our economic and business growth ambitions we must have a skilled local workforce. We want to ensure that our local community have the right skills to access the new jobs that are being created and can support our existing businesses as they grow and expand. The district has a comprehensive range of training providers, offering courses at all levels, and including the University of Chichester Campus in Bognor Regis. The recent proposal by the University to establish an Institute of Sustainable Enterprise on their Bognor Regis Campus will further enhance the local training offer.  

University of Chichester

Significant improvements and new developments have been completed on the University's Bognor Regis campus and many more are planned. The new Business Centre and Learning and Resource Centre were made possible after the University secured funding of £8 million. As well as this the University has also secured funding to operate an innovative programme placing graduates in local companies around the town with enterprise and entrepreneurial development at the heart. The creation of the Institute for Sustainable Enterprise is further stage of the development programme on the campus.  Brighton Portsmouth Surrey and  Sussex universities are all close by. 


Local schools and colleges

The Regis School, The Littlehampton Academy, Chichester College and Northbrook College are all in our local area  and the Council works with such organisations to encourage skill development at an early age.

In early 2016 the first Coastal West Sussex Big Bang was held. Over 700 students from 20 Coastal West Sussex schools gathered for the Big Bang @ Butlin’s, Bognor Regis – a day of noisy and colourful interactive displays, shows and hands-on activities provided by local businesses and other organisations aimed at bringing science and engineering to life.

It was the culmination of the first Coastal STEMfest, a programme of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) for schools and colleges in Coastal West Sussex which is giving students a unique insight into the courses and careers open to them locally and helping local businesses develop links with schools and colleges.

Among the local businesses and organisations providing activities at the Big Bang @ Butlin’s, Bognor Regis were Arun Control Systems, GSK, Inpress Plastics, Rayner and Rolls Royce.

“I’m really pleased Coastal STEMfest has delivered such a fantastic event for local students” said Kirk Brown, GSK Site Director, Worthing and Chairman of the Coastal West Sussex Partnership “It was fantastic to see so many students enjoying such a wide range of activities and taking the opportunity to ask questions about their future career opportunities”.

“This event also helped a number of local employers to engage and inspire their potential future workforce” which was another aim from the Coastal STEMfest “so that it can help reduce the local STEM skills gap.  We’re looking forward to building on this in the future.”

One student from Davisons CE High School for Girls, said “before today I did not truly appreciate how valuable learning about and studying science was” while another said, “the best thing about today was finding out about the different opportunities and things that you can do when you’re older”.

Coastal STEMfest’s ambition is to enthuse the next generation to study and build careers in STEM-related disciplines and to develop the tools needed to drive the economy of the future. It’s doing this by delivering a series of fun and exciting interactive workshops and shows in schools, in STEM Clubs and within local companies.

Coastal STEMfest has been organised by STEM Sussex, the not-for-profit outreach department of the University of Brighton and supported by a number of partners including the Coastal West Sussex Partnership, Tomorrow’s Engineers, Sussex Learning Network, Arun District Council, Coast 2 Capital LEP and West Sussex County Council.

For further information, contact STEM Sussex, tel. 01273 641874 or email

Pupils during STEM event students looking at scientific equipment students grouped around a screen a smiling student and adult two students taking part in an activity an experiment at the stem event people in camouflage helping a student students observing an activity camera man filming a Rolls Royce car part of the stem event pupils receiving a leaflet group of students smiling students participating in an experiment group of students with activity students listening to speaker


Employment and skills plans

The council is introducing a supplementary planning document to facilitate the negotiated creation and implementation of Employment and Skills Plans for major developments which will help ensure local people have the best opportunity to access the new jobs being created. Regeneration can bring money and opportunity to an area but it is often companies and services that are not local to the area which benefit.