The Lancashire Automotive Skills Accelerator (LASA) project aims to support businesses across Lancashire to respond to the growth of renewable energy sources, particularly focusing on low-emission vehicles and infrastructure within the light vehicle maintenance, service and repair, plant machinery and motorsport industries.
LASA is led by Blackburn College and will be delivered by a partnership of Lancashire colleges; Blackpool and The Fylde College, Lancaster and Morecambe College, Myerscough College and the Nelson and Colne College Group.
The project aims to achieve the following objectives and outputs:
1. Create industry standard facilities at five Low-Carbon Skills Centres located across Lancashire:
- Regional Automotive Technology Hub at Blackburn College focusing on light vehicle maintenance, service and repair;
- Electric Vehicle workshop facilities at Nelson and Colne College specialising in EV Fault Diagnosis, Battery Fault Diagnosis (servicing and maintenance) and Charging Infrastructure;
- Myerscough College and Blackpool and The Fylde College specialising in Motorsport;
- A plant operator training centre at Lancaster and Morecambe College, specialising in Low-Carbon energy sources within plant vehicles and technologies;
- The technical training and demonstrator facilities will ensure that employers and students have access to industry standard equipment that is relevant and keeps pace with technological change.
2. Create a Lancashire Independent Garage Network (IGN) that initially engages with 47 Small and Medium Sized Enterprise across Lancashire and facilitates their input into curriculum development:
- Ten Independent Garage Network meetings will be held across Lancashire that will provide advice and guidance on how the sector can adapt their business to grow. The Network will also support colleges and industry to develop partnerships to investigate new techniques and approaches to carbon neutrality
- A range of new short courses will be created that supports businesses to up-skill and re-skill their existing workforce to meet their skills needs
- Larger regional network events will also be held across Lancashire
3. Establish a shared leadership/delivery and Continuous Professional Development model that supports skills development and provides tutors with the skills and knowledge needed to deliver new and emerging curriculum in Low-Carbon skills. This will involve engaging employers in curriculum development sessions and working with Master Technicians to deliver staff and student Masterclasses and support dual curriculum delivery.
The LASA project will deliver the following:
- 5 new low carbon skills centres within Lancashire college; each college will specialise in a particular area and all will work collaboratively together to share best practice, facilities, and equipment.
- Development of new curriculum content related to hybrid and fully electric vehicles.
- Creation of a Lancashire Independent Garage Network, comprising at least 72 employers initially and increasing to 167 by Year 5. These employers will input into the design and development of new curriculum content.
- A range of new Level 2 short-courses will be created that supports businesses to up-skill and re-skill their existing workforce to meet their skills needs.
“The project is a great step in the right direction in terms of ensuring the needs of the industry are met. At Bowker we already work alongside Blackburn College as our apprentices attend the College. It’s great to see that they will have access to the most up-to-date training to ensure they develop the skills to get them where they need to be.”