“It is great to have employers involved in shaping the skills agenda”
County Councillor Julie Gibson, the Labour Group Shadow Spokesperson for Economic Regeneration and Growth, has backed calls for greater investment in skills and industry as a key driver for Economic Development across West Lancashire after attending a workshop on the Lancashire Local Skills Improvement Plan held at West Lancashire College. The Improvement Plan is part of the government’s Skills Accelerator, which aims to reshape the technical skills system to better support the needs of the local labour market and the wider economy.
Cllr Gibson said: “I attended the workshop recently held at West Lancashire College to hear about the plan and to meet some of the key players who are helping to shape it. Local Skills Improvement Plans are being piloted across the UK in 2022. In Lancashire, the aim is to engage 10,000 employers on the key changes needed to make technical skills training more responsive to employer’s needs. The Plan is being co-ordinated by North and Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce on behalf of the Department for Education.”
She continued: “I was fortunate to be amongst employers of varying sizes based in West Lancashire from the small and medium enterprises to the larger companies across the patch and it was really informative to listen to their experiences past and present. There was a real commitment to making sure that the future training and skills landscape is shaped by the employers and employees who are going to be part of it. Businesses know what industry needs to thrive, equipping people with the right skills and training is an integral part of it.”
Cllr Gibson said: “As well as taking part in the discussions, it was fantastic to see West Lancashire College and the development that has taken place since I last visited. The commitment from staff and the students and the vibrant corridors and cafeteria area was an absolute joy and is a real boost for West Lancashire. The college is a real gem and I have already organised for a return visit.”