Green skills pilot secures £8m funding

A pilot programme designed to shape how skills provision will meet the needs of the zero/low carbon economy of the future has been granted £8.4m funding.

The programme, the biggest of its kind in England, will be headed up The Lancashire Colleges (TLC) and delivered by the county’s colleges working in partnership with local business communities.

The funding has been granted by the Department for Education (DfE) and is part of the government’s Skills Accelerator Programme.

Its aim is to explore how education providers can work together more effectively alongside employers and other partners to respond to local skills and innovation priorities as well as tackling the zero/low carbon agenda.

Lancashire’s colleges will implement and test new collaborative ways of working with each other to develop new curriculum, establish specialist skills demonstrator centres across the county and deliver the skills local businesses need.

The colleges will develop industry-standard training facilities and expertise, helping to deliver skills programmes to prepare businesses to make the most of the opportunities that zero/low carbon emissions targets will bring.

The North and Western Chamber of Commerce and the East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce will also lead the Local Skills Improvement Plan to create a joined-up skills strategy that will help the county become a leading region for zero/low carbon technologies.

Alison Robinson, principal of Myerscough College which led The Lancashire Colleges’ bid for the funding, said: “We want every business in Lancashire to benefit from this pilot so we can get a head start on building our future zero/low carbon economy, helping our companies to grow and our people to gain the skills they need for high quality, well-paid jobs locally.

"The Lancashire Colleges are creating leading skills and knowledge hubs with employers across the area and, ultimately, this is about transforming lives and communities by investing in skills, creating jobs and improving outcomes for local people."

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