Lancashire talent pipeline turbo-charging North West economy with workers of the future
and live on Freeview channel 276
With the employment rate in Lancashire currently standing at 72.3%, 2.5% below the national average, the hub works to open the eyes of children across Lancashire to a wide range of careers and opportunities, linking businesses and organisations with schools and colleges to signpost employment opportunities.
“The Lancashire Careers Hub is really important for our economy and social mobility,” says Dr Michele Lawty-Jones, Director of the Lancashire Skills and Employment Hub. “In terms of the economy, it’s providing a talent pipeline, but it’s also about inward investment: attracting businesses to Lancashire who know we have a talent pool to recruit from.
“In terms of inclusion, we have varied communities across Lancashire with pockets of disadvantage, so it’s really important that we raise the aspirations and ambitions of our young people,” Dr Lawty-Jones adds. “Exposure to employers has been proven to really boost ambition [and] give insight into the world of work.”
At their recent annual conference, the focus was on low-carbon jobs, with more green employment opportunities set to be created in Lancashire than anywhere in the country, offering exciting work to over 90,000 young people in the county.
Low-carbon, cyber, digital, and STEM jobs are set to be some of the fastest-growing job sectors in Lancashire, with guest speakers at the conference including representatives from the National Cyber Force, a partnership between the Ministry of Defence and GCHQ which will have its new headquarters in Samlesbury from 2024.
Tying in their work with young people with real-world employment opportunities, NCF’s move to Lancashire is just one part of the creation of a ‘cyber corridor’ from Manchester to Lancaster, boosting tech and digital jobs in the area, which is already home to the like of BAE Systems.
“Working with Lancashire Careers Hub enables us to plug our requirements into a coordinated, organised network and ecosystem reaching all the schools and colleges in our locality so we can really make a difference to raise aspirations of young people,” says Peter Caney, Head of Early Careers and Skills at BAE Systems.
“We’re trying to attract a really diverse range of talent into our business; that future talent pipeline is so important,” Peter adds. “We’re seeing significant growth in the demand for apprentice and graduate talent from across our business, with a broad range of opportunities in engineering including software, systems and data analysts, project management, finance, business, procurement, and supply chain.
“We’re looking to attract inquisitive young people, creative thinkers, and problem-solvers who’ll thrive in a future digital workplace,” he continues. “There’s a real energy around the recovery from the pandemic in getting more young people into the workplace to look, see, feel those opportunities, open their minds, and raise aspirations.”
Oli de Botton, CEO of The Careers & Enterprise Company, saying that the impact the hub has is ‘inspirational’. “It’s incredible to see where careers education is now,” he says. “We’ve got employers stepping up [and] the impact of that is to the benefit of young people. It’s a really exciting time.”