NB – The STELa project has now ended.
Supporting Technical Education in Lancashire (STELa) is a c£1.35m project which is being supported by c£0.8m from the European Social Fund through the 2014-20 England European and Structural Investment Funds Programme. The project will start on 1 April 2021 and conclude by 31 July 2022, it will support c400 small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) across Lancashire.
Our objective is to increase the level of engagement of Lancashire’s SMEs in Technical Education through the provision of industrial placements and other work experience opportunities to students as well as by working with colleges to inform the development of the curriculum ensuring it meets skills needs.
STELa is being delivered by a partnership of five of Lancashire’s colleges, led by The Lancashire Colleges Ltd. The colleges are Blackburn College, Blackpool and The Fylde College, Lancaster and Morecambe College, Myerscough College and Preston College, providing coverage across the Lancashire LEP area.
We aim to support 400 SMEs, engaging them directly and through working with key intermediary organisations. Our colleges will work with SMEs to:
- better understand their workforce and skills needs and the potential opportunities for industry placements and other work experience opportunities;
- promote the benefits of greater engagement in the education and skills system be that through offering placement opportunities or influencing curriculum content;
- increase the volume and variety of industry placements and other work experience opportunities available for college students;
- develop and trial innovative placement and work experience models which may be more attractive or practical for the SME’s individual circumstances and/or more appropriate to a student’s needs;
- support them before, during and after placements take place to ensure they are meaningful and add value for both the SME and the student as well as being safe and compliant. The support provided to each SME will be bespoke according to their needs and the number and type of placements they are able to provide.
- design and develop the content of the technical education curriculum through involvement in advisory and focus groups, helping to ensure it meets their current and emerging skills needs;
- design engaging and practical ways to involve them in curriculum delivery e.g. through offering masterclasses or project-based learning opportunities to students;
- refer them to alternative sources of support where e.g. a workforce skills development need is identified during the course of this project.