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A £6.7 million digital network to improve access to training for students from across the South of Scotland has been launched today by Deputy First Minister, John Swinney.

The network is the result of a collaboration between the Scottish Funding Council, Dumfries and Galloway College, Scottish Borders College, and the South of Scotland Enterprise Partnership. It is funded by the Scottish Government.

The network will use a ‘hub and spoke’ approach to extend access to quality training and learning opportunities across the region. Hubs focused on Care, Renewable Energy, Construction and Engineering will be based at college campuses in Dumfries, Galashiels, Stranraer and Hawick, allowing students to participate in classes online.

Spokes will be located in high schools, community facilities and business premises enabling more students to participate in learning opportunities across the region.

Launching the network, Mr Swinney said:

“The South of Scotland Skills and Learning Network will broaden access to teaching for students and learners of all ages right across the region.

“With a clear focus on areas that have growing regional job opportunities, the ability to develop key skills without having to relocate will provide so many more people with an excellent start to their careers, or the chance to retrain to branch out into new areas.”