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Myerscough secures £4.5m of funding to deliver employer led in-demand skills training

Friday 17 Nov 2023

Myerscough College has secured £4.5m of funding to allow colleges across Lancashire to deliver employer led in-demand skills training.

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Myerscough led the funding bid on behalf of The Lancashire Colleges (TLC), with £4.5m awarded by the Local Skills Improvement Funding by the Department for Education (DfE). 

This additional investment will allow colleges from across Lancashire to build new training facilities, providing students with the opportunity to learn on the very latest technology and develop skills needed for successful careers.  The colleges will continue their work with local employers, designing and developing new, flexible courses that align with needs identified in the Local Skills Improvement Plan which was published earlier this year.

The colleges will work with construction, energy, transport and farming businesses to showcase the latest low-carbon technologies and deliver skills programmes that prepare Lancashire for a greener future. 

Digital technology is also rapidly-changing and this presents opportunities for every type of business; the colleges will develop bespoke courses to grow the digital skills of Lancashire’s current and future workforce from programming and coding to artificial intelligence and robotics. 

Finally, colleges will work together with local hospitality, food and farming businesses to promote careers in these critical local sectors.  They will create new, sustainable kitchens and a demonstrator farm to showcase the most sustainable practices and offer students ‘hands-on’ training to prepare them for exciting and rewarding careers.

Myerscough College will predominantly work on a project called ‘Skills from Farm to Fork’.

This project is designed to fast-track the development of industry-standard, flexible teaching facilities and curriculum to address the recruitment and progression challenges seen in the catering/hospitality and farming/agriculture sectors that are critical to the Lancashire economy.

The funding will also pay for two further projects.

Skills for Sustainability will support the development of cutting-edge teaching facilities and learning resources to enhance the training opportunities available related to the implementation and adoption of new net-zero carbon technologies in the Construction, Energy and Transport sectors.

Digital, Cyber and AI Employability Skills is designed to fast-track the development of industry-standard, flexible teaching facilities and provide expert teaching staff with the specialist skills required to design, develop and deliver new curriculum that addresses the digital, cyber and AI skills needed by a broad range of employers across different sectors.

The Local Skills Improvement Fund was announced by the Department for Education on 10th November as part of a £200 million funding boost to support local areas to offer more high-quality training opportunities to meet local skills needs, including Higher Technical Qualifications. This is part of a government drive to level up the country, get more people into good jobs close to home, plug skills gaps and grow the economy.

Rosie Fearn, Director of the Lancashire Colleges said: “We’re thrilled that Lancashire’s businesses and communities will benefit from this significant investment in skills. 

‘’The additional funding will help our colleges to continue their work with local employers, to help prepare young people for rewarding careers and to provide the current workforce with the skills needed to embrace new technologies. 

‘’Lancashire’s colleges will create new, responsive and flexible skills programmes working with local employers and industry specialists.

“By working together our colleges will ensure that state-of-the-art facilities and inspirational learning environments are available across Lancashire.  Many of these will have added-value as demonstrator facilities, allowing the colleges to raise awareness of the opportunities that the latest low-carbon and digital technologies can bring.

“This builds on a long history of collaboration among our colleges who have been working together as The Lancashire Colleges Group for over 25 years.”

Geoff Mason, Lancashire LSIP Project Lead said: “It is fantastic news that Lancashire’s LSIF proposal has been approved.

‘’Local colleges have been keen to work with the Chamber since the launch of LSIPs in 2021. These projects show how skills providers have listened to the needs of our employers.

“Through the LSIF projects the colleges are tackling some of the biggest issues employers have told us about. With a focus on digital skills across all sectors, green skills, and our food industry from farming to catering and hospitality, they are utilising the fund to respond directly to employer needs.

“We look forward to continue collaborating with the colleges in their delivery of the LSIF and work to ensure that employers continue to be involved in the development of these projects. I would encourage employers in all industries to get involved with the LSIP to help shape this funding.”

The Lancashire Colleges (TLC) was established in 1998 as a membership organisation to enhance collaborative activity between the Further Education and Sixth Form Colleges in Lancashire.  TLC is a not for profit company limited by guarantee.  TLC’s members are Blackburn College, Blackpool and the Fylde College, Blackpool Sixth Form College, Burnley College, Cardinal Newman College, Lancaster and Morecambe College, Myerscough College, Nelson and Colne College Group, Preston College, Runshaw College and West Lancashire College (part of NCG).