Lancashire has been awarded an £8.4m boost for skills development to meet the needs of the zero/low carbon economy of the future through a pilot programme, delivered by the county’s colleges working in partnership with local business communities.
The Lancashire Colleges (TLC) – made up of the 12 further education (FE) and sixth form colleges across the county – has been chosen by the Department for Education (DfE) to deliver a Strategic Development Fund Pilot to explore how education providers can work together more effectively alongside employers and other partners to respond to local skills and innovation priorities as well as tackling the zero/low carbon agenda.
The funding will allow Lancashire’s colleges to implement and test new collaborative ways of working with each other to develop new curriculum, establish specialist skills demonstrator centres across the county and to deliver the skills local businesses need.
It will also enable the colleges to develop industry-standard training facilities and expertise, helping to deliver skills programmes to prepare businesses to make the most of the opportunities that zero/low carbon emissions targets will bring.
The trailblazing pilot is one of the biggest of its kind in England, part of the Government’s Skills Accelerator Programme which also sees the North and Western Chamber of Commerce and the East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce leading the Local Skills Improvement Plan to create a joined-up skills strategy that will help the county become a leading region for zero/low carbon technologies.
Lancashire’s colleges will work with employers of all sizes and sectors across Lancashire including agriculture, construction, energy, advanced manufacturing, digital and automotive. Employers can find out more by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alison Robinson, Principal of Myerscough College which led The Lancashire Colleges’ bid for the funding, said: “We want every business in Lancashire to benefit from this pilot so we can get a head start on building our future zero/low carbon economy, helping our companies to grow and our people to gain the skills they need for high quality, well-paid jobs locally.
“The Lancashire Colleges are creating leading skills and knowledge hubs with employers across the area and, ultimately, this is about transforming lives and communities by investing in skills, creating jobs and improving outcomes for local people.
“This builds on the established relationships between Lancashire’s Colleges who have been collaborating with each other and with businesses for more than 25 years. This is great news for Lancashire.”