Lancashire will soon see £13m of investment to create over 4000 new training and apprenticeship opportunities in range of different sectors across the county.
Over the next two months, four new education facilities will open as part of the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership (LEP) wider £27m technical and vocational skills Growth Deal funding programme.
The new facilities will include the Lancashire Energy HQ in Blackpool, a training centre for the renewable, oil and gas energy sectors; the Food and Farming Innovation and Technology (FFIT) Centre at Myerscough College in Preston; and the Sentamu Teaching Block at the University of Cumbria’s Lancaster campus, which will specialise in training health and social care students.
In addition, Lancashire Adult Learning (LAL) - the county’s adult learning service – will move from Chorley to premises at Brierfield Mill in Pendle as part of the £32m Northlight regeneration scheme. The new LAL centre will support 22,000 adult learners in Lancashire across 120 community venues.
These new colleges, learning amenities, and the relocation of the LAL service, have been kick-started by the LEP funding, which has already helped transform the county’s vocational training provision over the last three years.
The LEP has also supported the Science Engineering Innovation Centre (SEIC) at Runshaw College at Chorley, and the Marine Engineering College at Fleetwood Nautical Campus.
Edwin Booth, Chair of the LEP, said: “We know we will need more skilled employees across a wide range of industry and sectors if Lancashire is to fulfil its potential at the heart of the Northern Powerhouse, which is why technical training is one of the LEP’s key priorities.
“These new four facilities, which are all set to officially open over the next two months, are clear examples of how our investments continue to generate new opportunities within further, higher and adult learning which are an integral part of our wider £27m Growth Deal Skills Capital skills funding programme which we have been implementing since 2014.”
Northern Powerhouse Minister Jake Berry MP, who also represents Lancashire’s Rossendale and Darwen constituency, said: “Job creation and economic growth are at the heart of the Northern Powerhouse and training the next generation to become the highly skilled workforce of the future will be vital to its success. As a proud Lancastrian I am delighted that my home county is establishing itself as a hub of training excellence with £27m of government funding creating nearly 4,000 new vocational training places and over 500 apprenticeships up to 2021.This benefits not just Lancashire’s economy but the long term economic success of the whole UK.”