A £6.7 million digital network is set to improve access to training for students from across the south of Scotland. The Skills and Learning Network is a partnership between Borders and Dumfries and Galloway Colleges, funded by the Scottish Government through the South of Scotland Economic Partnership (SOSEP). 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. Deputy First Minister John Swinney will launch the network at Dumfries and Galloway College and Minister for Business and Skills, Jamie Hepburn, will open the hub at Borders College in Galashiels. 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 . “Today marks the launch of the network and I look forward to seeing how the colleges develop the technological platform that has been created here to its fullest potential. “The Scottish Government has now approved funding for 30 SOSEP projects. Alongside the South of Scotland Enterprise agency which will launch on 1 April, the work of SOSEP will help us maximise the full economic potential of the south.”