Chambers chosen for pilot skills programme

Lancashire's three chambers of commerce have been selected to run a pilot skills programme by the government.

North & Western Lancashire Chamber, East Lancashire Chamber and Lancaster Chamber will work together to deliver the Department for Education’s Skills Accelerator programme.

The county will become a Local Skills Improvement Plan (LSIP) Trailblazer and will gather evidence from a wide range of employers of all sizes and across all sectors to develop a clear plan of what skills provision is required in the region.

Babs Murphy, chief executive of the North & Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce, said: "This is probably the most important skills project we’ve seen for Lancashire.

"When the Chamber delivers this support, engaging with thousands of businesses, the county will have an evidence-based skills audit of a sort never seen before. It will ensure future skills delivered by colleges of further education actually match what firms require and deserve in the future.”

Geoff Mason, Chamber policy manager, added: "This will be a genuinely transformative approach to dealing with long-term skills gaps, improving productivity and increasing opportunity for Lancashire people.

"The process of putting the bid together was a truly collaborative effort; working closely alongside our excellent local colleges and engaging with other organisations who were happy to express support for the bid. This collaborative approach is exactly what is needed to deal with issues around skills shortages and recruitment difficulties. The relationships already developed bode well for the future."

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