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UCLan programme to tackle county’s skills gaps

UpSkilling Lancashire will support SMEs to become more competitive.

The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) has launched a new project funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) to support Lancashire SMEs in increasing the skills and capability of their employees.

The UpSkilling Lancashire project team assists businesses to identify, design, develop and implement workforce education training programmes in response to the needs of the company.

Charlotte Duffell, project manager of UpSkilling Lancashire, said the project will support businesses to become more competitive and to achieve their strategic goals.

She said: “The programme has been launched to support SMEs bridge skills gaps through, among other initiatives, workplace training, an important aspect of workforce development. Every business has different needs, which is why the team works closely with the employer to gain an understanding of the business objectives to determine exactly the level and type of support they require.

“It will assist SMEs in gaining the competitive edge required to be able to achieve growth and success, providing a vital boost to Lancashire and helping to promote the county as a place where businesses can thrive.”

UpSkilling Lancashire is led by UCLan, in partnership with Burnley College, Edge Hill University, Forest of Bowland (Area of Outstanding Beauty) Project, Lancaster and Morecambe College, Myerscough College and Preston’s College.

There are many services available through the programme, including:

  • Suggested pathways to training opportunities, workshops and courses
  • Guidance on the Lancashire apprenticeship offer up to degree level
  • Utilising current student knowledge and skills via placements and internships
  • Connecting businesses who can benefit from working together whilst supporting the local economy.

To qualify for free support through UpSkilling Lancashire, businesses must be based in Lancashire and employ 250 employees or less.

For more information on the programme, visit or contact 01772 895500.

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