£11m boost for training in key Lancashire sectors

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Almost £11m has been announced to fund a further significant expansion in training places and apprenticeships in key sectors of Lancashire’s economy.

The funding, agreed by the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership, will contribute to nine projects worth over £34m across Lancashire.

The LEP’s aim is to support a network or modern, high quality educational and training facilities which will enable the country’s workforce to improve its skill levels in key sectors of the economy which are crucial to growth.

This is the second round of a £30m investment of Growth Deal Skills funding by the LEP for training facilities across Lancashire.

One of the most important areas for Lancashire’s economy is aerospace and advanced manufacturing, where the LEP estimates that as many as 21,800 extra skilled trades people and qualified professionals and managers will be needed by 2022 due to an ageing workforce. The funds include £524,000 towards Blackpool and the Fylde College’s £1.5m project which aims to provide high quality and flexible learning spaces for business-led provision, and £670,000 towards a £1.3m partnership between Lancaster University and BAE Systems to set up an Advanced Manufacturing Centre for Skills Development and Employer Engagement.

That will feature a state of the art equipment at the University Lancaster Campus and the BAE Systems Training Centre at Samlesbury. There will also be £3m toward a £7.5m Food and Farming Innovation and Technology Centre at Myerscough College.

The LEP’s Dr Michele Lawty-Jones said. “Employers have told us that they will need more skilled employees in a number of key areas over the coming years if their businesses are to grow to their full potential.”