Lancashire 'skills swap' service launched

A new service has launched to help Lancashire businesses exchange skills and expertise, while finding training and volunteering opportunities for those not currently at work.

Created by the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership's Skills and Employment Hub, the new programme helps businesses reach a wider audience when recruiting, enables organisations to offer their skills and expertise to others, helps employers to train their staff even when furloughed, and identifies volunteering opportunities for furloughed staff.

Steve Fogg, chair of the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership, said: "At this time more than ever, the skills needs of all businesses are changing rapidly. There are now huge skills demands in certain sectors and a supply of people who are not currently working from other sectors.

“We saw that there was no single place for Lancashire's business community to communicate opportunities and needs for addressing the skills needs of Lancashire. This service is here to help."

One of the first businesses to register on the Lancashire Skills Swap was the Affilius Group, which is offering staff to work for or within another business to offer knowledge and expertise in IT, software, networks and remote working.

This would be a free service from the Affilius Group to most recipient organisations but not for all. For example, a charity needing support should be free but a highly profitable commercial business needing support may be chargeable.

Andrew Dewhurst, MD of Affilius Group, said: "I registered on Skills Swap because we are keen to support Lancashire's businesses through our expertise in IT which is critically needed at this time."

Lancashire County Council is another organisation which has registered on Skills Swap as it needs to recruit more paid carers to care for the most vulnerable residents across Lancashire.

There are now huge skills demands in certain sectors and a supply of people who are not currently working from other sectors.

A Skills Swap team is available to help coordinate people and businesses as they link up with each other, and can help businesses access training for current staff, and for furloughed staff in preparation for the future. You can access the Lancashire Skills Swap by visiting www.lancashireskillshub.co.uk/skills-swap/ or contact the team by emailing LancsSkillsHub@lancashirelep.co.uk

The Lancashire Skills Swap is part of the wider #AskForHelp campaign led by Boost, Lancashire’s Business Growth Hub, which has a dedicated Hub offering the latest government and partner advice, information and support to Lancashire's business community.

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