LAL launches new Immersive Care Hub

Lancashire Adult Learning has launched an Immersive Care Hub at its Northlight home attended by 20 of the county’s key employers in the Health and Social Care sector.

The launch of the Health and Social Care immersive learning environment is a significant development in a Lancashire-wide strategic plan to improve the skills of the workforce in the sector.

The new facility, developed in partnership with the Department for Health and Social Care and Skills for Care, is specifically designed to provide an authentic learning experience for those seeking a career in Health or Social Care, and to attract fresh talent into the industry.

At the launch of the hub, employers from across Lancashire had the chance to provide their expert knowledge and input into redesigning the curriculum so that learners aged 19-years-old and over who wish to enter into a career or further study in Health and Social Care are receiving industry-relevant training.

Alison Rushton, vice principal at Lancashire Adult Learning, said: “I’m thrilled to launch our Immersive Care Hub with some of the county’s leading Health and Social Care employers and industry experts, and I firmly believe that by working together we can improve the sector.”

Nicola Hall, head of curriculum and strategic partnerships at Lancashire Adult Learning, said: “The facility looks absolutely brilliant and is the perfect environment for Health and Social Care learning. The constructive input from our discussions around what skills the Health and Social Care sector requires will prove invaluable too in developing an industry-relevant curriculum.”

Kerry Hemsworth, Deputy Director of Education at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The newly introduced Health and Social Care curriculum developed by Lancashire Adult Learning will provide their local community with an additional platform and pathway into Health and Social Care careers.

“Employers need a workforce with a diverse range of skills, knowledge and behaviours to deliver excellent care, and it is clear that the curriculum design is being mapped to employer needs.

“It will be interesting to see how the immersive learning environment helps to develop a learner’s skills in a safe and simulated setting with the ultimate aim of bridging the industry’s skills gaps.”

Tracy Heyes, strategic partnership manager Lancashire Skills Hub, Lancashire Enterprise Partnership (LEP), said: “The LEP is investing Lancashire Growth Deal funds in over 50 projects across the county which, together, will drive significant economic growth.

“One of these projects is Northlight. We have invested £4.95m to support the regeneration of a once empty, abandoned building and transform it into a valuable community asset with leisure facilities, apartments and offices, creating jobs and driving local economic growth in the process.

“It's really exciting to see space at Northlight being used to provide an immersive learning environment for Health and Social Care as well. The Health and Social Care sector is predicted to grow across Lancashire and it is so important that there are modern, high-quality facilities to support the development of skills in our future workforce and to upskill existing staff members.”

June Sears-Jones, manager at Stocks Hall Nursing & Care Group, said: “We are extremely grateful for the launch and the help that this facility will provide for the group. We look forward to working together in partnership with Lancashire Adult Learning to improve quality of life for all. We are proud to be involved in skills development, and it was inspiring to see the potential this facility has, with the passion there is for improving the sector.”

Lisa Fitzsimmons, manager at Dalesview Partnership, said: “I’m very pleased that some of the core issues in the Health and Social Care sector are being addressed. The launch is very encouraging and the hub is a fantastic facility. The enthusiasm for improvement is here and I think the future is positive.”

Lancashire Adult Learning’s guide for Spring is out now and is full of inspiration for the new year, with courses to help adults across the Red Rose County develop a new hobby, learn a new skill, improve their wellbeing, enhance their social life, gain employment or change career.

As well as its targeted delivery and partnership work, Lancashire Adult Learning offers a huge range of planned provision across Lancashire, from Arts and Crafts to Humanities classes, Languages to Health and Wellbeing sessions and Functional Skills English and Maths and Employability courses.

Further information about Lancashire Adult Learning can be found at www.lal.ac.uk or by calling 0333 003 1717.