Businesses across Lancashire struggling to recruit the right candidates, or who are looking to grow their workforce, are being reminded to take advantage of a fully-funded support programme before the funding comes to an end in summer 2018.

The Lancashire Employment and Skills Executive Partnership (LESEP) secured £6.7million in November 2016 from the Education and Skills Funding Agency (SFA) and European Social Fund (ESF) to deliver Access to Employment (AtoE) across Lancashire.

As well as supporting unemployed or inactive adults to gain employment, AtoE provides businesses with access to ready and willing candidates to help support objectives and achieve growth, in addition to pre-employment training through LESEP’s delivery partners located across the county.

The training can be designed by the individual business to ensure it is tailored to their needs and that individuals are equipped with the relevant skills.

The service also provides support with the recruitment process, by assisting with the sifting of applications to ensure only suitable candidates are put forward.

Raeleen Duthoit, support and development manager at LESEP, said: “Recruitment is one of the biggest challenges faced by businesses, and it can often be an expensive and long process.

“Organisations may be inclined to look to recruitment agencies to help fill vacancies, but by going through the Access to Employment service, there’s a range of benefits to be had.

“In addition to ongoing support with the recruitment process, businesses will also benefit from being put in touch with an experienced delivery partner to aid the creation of bespoke pre-employment training packages to help close the skills gap, at no cost to the business.

“The funding for the programme is limited, so it’s vital that businesses access it now while they still can.”

Businesses interested in finding out more about the programme can visit or email

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