Upskilling Lancashire

More than 1,500 Small to Medium Sized businesses (SMEs) in Lancashire have benefitted from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) led Upskilling Lancashire project.

The project which ran from February 2021 through to December 2023 was part-funded by the European Social Fund, helping businesses to identify, design, develop and implement work-force education and training programmes linked to the needs of the business. The project supported employers in identifying training needs and skills gaps to achieve future growth and strategic objectives within the business. Support included innovative projects linked to capacity building, work placements, apprenticeships at all levels and identifying appropriate training and skills support. The team also provided advice on accessing levy support for education and training and the utilisation of student knowledge and skills via placements and internships.

Throughout the project’s life it oversaw 901 organisational needs analyses and 667 action plans. Support involved members of the project team visiting businesses to discuss their business plans and objectives. The team then supported the business by identifying workforce training needs and providing referrals to one of its partner organisations as well as making them aware of any other skills related projects and business support agencies that may assist the business further.

Katy Sands Marketing Director of The Positive Profitability Company said: “As a local SME it’s often tricky to know where to go to get help. Or even to start looking for it. The Upskilling Team answered all our questions in super-quick time and have been thorough at following us up and making sure our needs were met. If we ever need help like this in future I shall know where to come again and I’ll recommend your services to any businesses I meet.”

Another beneficiary was the Conveyor Belt Specialist LVS Imas Ltd. The company employed a Degree Apprentice after valuable advice from the Upskilling Team. Co-owner Andrea McKenna said: “The process for the apprenticeship scheme was a little daunting but I have to say the team was excellent throughout. They were able to provide guidance and support. I would highly recommend UCLan as an apprenticeship provider and would contact them in the future should we require further apprentices.”

UpSkilling Lancashire was led by the University of Central Lancashire (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.

Discover more

  • Skills and Business Workforce Development (UpSkilling Lancashire)

    The UpSkilling Lancashire project supports SMEs in Lancashire to increase the skills and capabilities of their employees.

  • Research

    We have a growing and vibrant community of innovative academics who nurture our postgraduate students and early-career researchers, producing high quality international and world-leading research that addresses today’s challenges.

  • Develop your business

    We offer a wide range of specialist business support aimed at helping business and organisations to grow, develop and thrive.