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The Lancashire Colleges Group (TLC) has been awarded £4.5m Local Skills Improvement Funding by the Department for Education (DfE). This additional investment will allow colleges from across Lancashire to build new training facilities, providing students with the opportunity to learn on the very latest technology and develop skills needed for successful careers.

Skills programmes for a greener future

The group will continue their work with local employers, designing and developing new, flexible courses that align with needs identified in the Local Skills Improvement Plan published earlier this year. The colleges will work with construction, energy, transport and farming businesses to showcase the latest low-carbon technologies and deliver skills programmes that prepare Lancashire for a greener future.

Digital technology is also rapidly changing and this presents opportunities for every type of business. The colleges will develop bespoke courses to grow the digital skills of Lancashire’s current and future workforce from programming and coding to artificial intelligence and robotics.

‘Hands-on’ training to prepare students to work in critical sectors

Finally, colleges will work together with local hospitality, food and farming businesses to promote careers in these critical local sectors. They will create new, sustainable kitchens and a demonstrator farm to showcase the most sustainable practices and offer students ‘hands-on’ training to prepare them for exciting and rewarding careers.

Rosie Fearn, Director of the Lancashire Colleges Group said: “We’re thrilled that Lancashire’s businesses and communities will benefit from this significant investment in skills.

“The additional funding will help our colleges to continue their work with local employers, to help prepare young people for rewarding careers and to provide the current workforce with the skills needed to embrace new technologies.  Lancashire’s colleges will create new, responsive and flexible skills programmes working with local employers and industry specialists.

“By working together our colleges will ensure that state-of-the-art facilities and inspirational learning environments are available across Lancashire. Many of these will have added-value as demonstrator facilities, allowing the colleges to raise awareness of the opportunities that the latest low-carbon and digital technologies can bring.

Employers encouraged to get involved

Geoff Mason, Lancashire LSIP Project Lead said: “It is fantastic news that Lancashire’s LSIF proposal has been approved. Local colleges have been keen to work with the Chamber since the launch of LSIPs in 2021. These projects show how skills providers have listened to the needs of our employers.

“Through the LSIF projects the colleges are tackling some of the biggest issues employers have told us about. With a focus on digital skills across all sectors, green skills, and our food industry from farming to catering and hospitality, they are utilising the fund to respond directly to employer needs.

“We look forward to continuing collaboration with the colleges in their delivery of the LSIF and work to ensure employers continue to be involved in the development of these projects. I would encourage employers in all industries to get involved with the LSIP to help shape this funding.”

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