Lancashire employers are to be placed at the heart of the county’s skills programme as part of new pilot schemes to run in the area.
Local Chambers of Commerce and further education colleges have been successful in a joint bid to the Department for Education’s Skills Accelerator programme.
Led by the North & Western Lancashire Chamber, working in partnership with East Lancashire Chamber and supported by Lancaster Chamber, the county will be a Local Skills Improvement Plan (LSIP) Trailblazer. This will gather evidence from a wide range of employers of all sizes and across all sectors to develop a clear plan of what skills provision is required in the region.
Speaking about the successful bid, Babs Murphy, Chief Executive of the North & Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce said:
“This is probably the most important skills project we’ve seen for Lancashire. When the Chamber delivers this support, engaging with thousands of businesses, 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.”
The Chamber’s Policy Manager, Geoff Mason, added:
“We are delighted to have been chosen to deliver one of these groundbreaking plans. This will be a genuinely transformative approach to dealing with long-term skills gaps, improving productivity and increasing opportunity for Lancashire people.
“The process of putting the bid together was a truly collaborative effort; working closely alongside our excellent local colleges and engaging with other organisations who were happy to express support for the bid. This collaborative approach is exactly what is needed to deal with issues around skills shortages and recruitment difficulties. The relationships already developed bode well for the future.”
Lancashire’s colleges, led by Myerscough College, were successful in a bid to be a Strategic Development Fund pilot. The pilot will use a variety low carbon projects to demonstrate and develop how they can work together to deliver a combined programme.