Lancashire County Council has finalised a huge contract to deliver workplace training to local businesses.
The £6,319,000 funding has been awarded by the European Social Fund, ESF. It is aimed at supporting employees aged 19 and over in small or medium-sized businesses with a workforce of up to 250 employees.
The two-year project will run until July 2015. It will operate across the Lancashire Economic Partnership area, which consists of Lancashire, Blackpool and Blackburn with Darwen local authorities.
Lancashire County Council will work with businesses and local providers to deliver training to address essential workforce skills and identify other areas suitable for training and development, such as specialist technical skills to meet the demands of growing businesses.
Training will be flexible to suit business needs. It will include a mix of basic and higher level skills, leadership and management. It will also offer technical specialist qualifications to help boost the county’s strengths in the following growth sectors:
- Advanced engineering and manufacturing
- Energy, environment and low carbon
- Financial and professional service
- Creative and digital
- The tourism sector
More than 4,000 people will be supported through this programme. It will be run in partnership with a range of local organisations. They include further and higher education institutions, work-based learning providers, third sector organisations and other specialist providers to engage with students and key employment sec! tors.
Jennifer Mein, leader of Lancashire County Council, said: “Making sure that our local residents are fully equipped to compete in the workplace and have the skills to help our local businesses to be profitable and competitive is one of our highest priorities.
“The signing of the Preston, South Ribble and Lancashire City Deal on September 12 illustrates the importance of having a highly trained and well-skilled workforce in Lancashire. This ESF funding will enable us and the organisations we’re working with to ensure the training courses meet the needs of the county’s employers.
“There’s enormous potential in Lancashire which this contract will help us to develop further. I’d like to thank and congratulate everyone who was involved in the hours of detailed work in preparing and submitting the bid.”