Navigation

News and events

UCLan report shows growth in Fylde Coast manufacturing and energy industries

27 February 2014

Lyndsey Boardman

Study assesses region’s technical labour market.

A study by researchers from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) has found that employment in the manufacturing and energy industries across Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre remains robust and looks set to increase.

The Manufacturing and Process Skills for the Future Group (MPSF) commissioned the report to identify the need to assess the technical labour market across the Fylde Coast to ensure the continued growth in processing and manufacturing sectors.

“The findings of the research show there is the potential for significant growth in these key sectors of the economy."

The three month study by the Centre for Energy and Power Management at UCLan found that:

  • Employment in manufacturing remains robust and there is growth in energy related jobs
  • Jobs in this sector are projected to increase by between 300 and 500 over the next five – 10 years 
  • It is expected 5,000 skilled technical people per year will be required to fill gaps across the North West where people are due to retire and leave employment 
  • School attainment across Fylde and Wyre is particularly strong having increased in recent years 
  • Further Education establishments enjoy good levels of success with apprenticeships and vocational work with local and national employers

Professor Joe Howe, Director of the Centre for Energy and Power Management at UCLan, said: “The findings of the research show there is the potential for significant growth in these key sectors of the economy. Industry, skills providers and Government will need to work closely, as a forum for growth, to maximise the opportunities that this presents.”

The MPSF is a private sector sub group of Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre Economic Development Company (EDC). EDC Head of Enterprise and Investment Rob Green said the report is essential in mapping out business activity and encouraging investment over the next few years.

“The report’s findings are encouraging highlighting very attractive opportunities for employment in these key sectors of our economy on the Fylde coast."

Joe continued: “The report’s findings are encouraging highlighting very attractive opportunities for employment in these key sectors of our economy on the Fylde coast.

“There are clear challenges ahead in meeting the future workforce demand but I’m delighted that in bringing the MPSF group together we have been able to encourage even closer working partnerships between industry and local training providers to help meet industry needs and generate new opportunities for local residents.”

Businesses collectively representing more than 10,000 manufacturing employees took part in the research.

Neil Farley, of Springfield Fuels – who chaired the MPSF group, said: “It is essential to the future economic growth of the Fylde Coast that we are able to identify what future skills and investment are required as this enables every business to have the chance to prosper.”

The report also highlighted a number of key recommendations including:

  • Communal apprenticeship schemes
  • Increased student placements 
  • Closer and early working with schools 
  • Closer working to attract increased funds

Rob added that work will now progress to ensure the recommendations are put into place to ensure continued growth.

He said: “Strong partnerships were forged between industry and the training providers to commission the study undertaken by UCLan and they will now continue to work together to deliver the workforce of the future.”