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Reacting to the news that the North & Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce will be leading the Lancashire Local Skills Improvement plan in partnership with the East Lancashire Chamber, Babs Murphy, chief executive said:

“We are delighted that the Chambers’ have been designated by the Secretary of State to help develop skills that grow local economies and boost opportunities for future generations.

“Both Chambers will use its convening power and deep knowledge of our local economies and communities to develop clear plans to address skills challenges faced by businesses.

“We will bring together local businesses, training providers and a broad range of stakeholders to identify the skills needed to increase opportunities and enable economic growth for the benefit of everyone in the community.

“This is an opportunity for employers to shape how their current and future workforce can access the right training to thrive in the modern, more digital and greener workplace.

Over ten thousand businesses were engaged in the eight Chamber-led trailblazers, of which Lancashire was one, building on this learning and success, will ensure that planning for local skills is aligned with the job opportunities and growth ambitions of employers.

Babs added “Much of the work done during the Trailblazer period is now being implemented by our local colleges of further education.

“There’s a big job still ahead to engage with thousands of businesses. But when completed the county will have an evidence-based skills audit of a sort never seen before. It will ensure future skills delivered by colleges of further education actually match what firms require and deserve in the future.

“This will be a genuinely transformative approach to dealing with long-term skills gaps, improving productivity and increasing opportunity for Lancashire people.”

Babs added: “The local skills agenda has never been as important as we address the post pandemic and Brexit world. This is a great opportunity for Lancashire’s businesses, colleges, training providers and business support community to work together and create a local skills improvement plan that truly recognises the skills needs, and more importantly, some of the solutions needed to address these.

“Closing the skills gap across the County will help build all communities, and we are proud to see, once again, the Chambers’ in Lancashire are at the heart of local growth.”

A dedicated Lancashire Local Skills Improvement Plan website with links to surveys can be found at www.lancashirelsip.co.uk.

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