Upskilling Lancashire through apprenticeships at Preston College

Preston College is one of the largest training providers in Lancashire to offer apprenticeships.

Driven by the demand from employers and the skills needed in the region, the college continues to ensure that Lancashire employers have a continual supply chain of work-ready learners, competent apprentices and adult learners looking to upskill (through our Upskilling Lancashire project, funded by the European Social Fund) and progress with their career ambitions.

Our apprenticeship offer is extensive and our portfolio ranges incorporate provision for all key employment sectors including Engineering and Manufacturing, Construction, Health (Social Care, Dental and Pharmacy), Accounting, Leadership & Management and Hair, Beauty & Related Therapies.

Our college vision is to make our learners employable, and to create sustained progression from classroom-based learning to apprenticeships, employment or further study.

We do this through the high-quality provision of industry-relevant skills and knowledge, often directly supported by our outstanding employer partners.

It was welcome news in 2021 when the government continued to issue a series of kick-start programmes for those looking to get back into skilled work. As more skilled apprenticeship jobs became available, it gave a lifeline to those looking to start a new career. Equally, it also gave a lifeline to a number of employers who benefited from a £3,000 incentive for every apprentice hired.

The year also saw the introduction to T-Levels – a technical programme which shares similarities to apprenticeships. T-Levels are a technical programme, much like the BTECs, but with the added element of a minimum 45-day work industry placement in a course-related industry sector.

T-Levels are based upon the same standards which have been designed by employers, so in essence, the learner will develop the knowledge, skills and behaviours that are highly sought-after by employers.

After what feels like a whirlwind two years, there is real hope in technical education through apprenticeships, upskilling, adult courses and T Levels. We have been inspired by the remarkable and resilient employers that we work with across the region.

Case Study: Hands-on Learning

Carefoot PLC is leading the construction phase of our brand new and updated Construction Skills Centre which will house our T-Level Professional Construction learners.

This development, designed with awardwinning architects, Frank Whittle Partnership, is an exciting upgrade of our current construction building and will ensure that learners have access to the latest technology and equipment, combined with high-specification industry-standard facilities.

Colin Carefoot, chief executive officer says: “This is an incredible learning opportunity and offers valuable experience to the learners who acquire real hands-on learning on a building site, whilst developing their knowledge. It also helps inspire the future generation, as they watch things slowly come together.”