A multi-million pound initiative that Myerscough College was heavily involved with, to provide free, high quality training to businesses across Lancashire has been hailed a huge success.
The £5.6m Lancashire Skills Support for the Workforce (LSS) programme launched in September 2014 and aimed to help Lancashire companies accelerate business growth by addressing skills gaps. In total, more than 5,500 Lancashire workers gained new skills and qualifications, from 1,381 businesses in the county, smashing the initial target to support 3,817 people. The programme’s ‘end of term report’ also shows that 202 people progressed from the initial training onto apprenticeships or higher-level training, further boosting their workplace skills.
Businesses qualifying for support through LSS, which was funded by money from the European Social Fund, received a free training needs analysis with eligible employees, followed by free accredited training from leading providers based on their skills requirements.
The support available through LSS included a mix of basic and higher level skills, leadership and management skills, as well as technical and industry specialist qualifications.
The sectors that the funding was aimed at fitted perfectly with the wide range of training provided at Myerscough College, making the partnership a strong one between the council and the county’s leading further education and training provider.
Among the businesses Myerscough College helped as part of the programme was the Honeycomb Company Limited, based at Galgate, near Lancaster. Four of the team members completed Fork Lift Truck Operations training delivered on site by Myerscough College with help from the programme.
Owner, Paul Humphries said: “It’s fantastic that we have been able to deliver this training on site with help from Myerscough College and funding from LSS. This has allowed us to increase our efficiently and increase the number of team members who can safely operate the machine.
‘’If you’re a small business in Lancashire with training needs then get in touch with the team at Myerscough College. Steve the trainer was first class, and supported us every step of the way. The training received was perfect and conveniently delivered on site to our exact needs.”
Andrea Gardner, Enterprise Manager at Myerscough College,said: “Our workbased team conduct a full training needs analysis to see exactly what needs they have and try to address these. It’s great that our training can have such a direct impact on the business and its efficiency.’’
Another company that worked with Myerscough during the scheme was Allan J Hargreaves Plant Engineers, based in Thornton. The business currently employs 27 staff in refurbishing and finishing rail use plant machinery and lifting equipment within the rail industry.
The business has a long standing history of training with Myerscough College and many of the engineers are ex-students or apprentices with the college. As part of the programme the company updated their workers’ skills further with 15 members of staff benefiting from the on-site training delivered by Myerscough. Fourteen members of the team completed units of Safe Operation & Moving of Plant Equipment, while another staff member undertook a Level 3 Leadership and Management qualification attending college on a day release basis.
Allan Hargreaves, business owner, said: “It’s fantastic that we have been able to deliver this training on site with help from Myerscough College and funding from LSS. This has allowed us to increase our efficiently and increase the number of team members who can safely move and operate various machines.
‘’If you’re a small business in Lancashire with training needs then get in touch with the team at Myerscough College. John Holden the trainer is first class, and supported us every step of the way. The training received was perfect and conveniently delivered on site to our exact business needs.”
Jennifer Mein, leader of Lancashire County Council, said: “Lancashire Skills Support was our response to what businesses in the county were telling us was their greatest growth priority – upskilling the workforce. The rapid pace at which the available training places filled up shows the extent of the demand for greater skills.
“The programme would not have worked as well as it did without the local business knowledge we have in the county, and the quality of the colleges and training providers that helped us to deliver the training. The phenomenal success of the programme means we’re eager to run it again as soon as possible and we hope to have a new funding bid in place in the near future.”
For more information on any of the workbased programmes and apprenticeships on offer at Myerscough College please contact Employer Services on 01995 642255 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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by Dave Salmon