The Lancashire Colleges have been awarded an £8.4m contract to deliver a Strategic Development Fund Pilot
The Lancashire Colleges (TLC) will explore how the colleges can work together more effectively together, alongside employers and with other partners to respond to local skills priorities associated with helping local businesses to meet the needs of the zero/low carbon economy of the future.
The trailblazing SDF pilot is one of the biggest of its kind in England and will see colleges collaborating in new and innovative ways to deliver a series of seven projects, each of which will work with businesses in a different part of the local economy. From repairing electric and hybrid vehicles to conducting carbon audits of local farms to helping businesses to introduce new digital solutions our projects will help ensure that Lancashire’s businesses have the skilled workforce they need to be able to respond to the opportunities and challenges presented by the move to a zero/low carbon future.
The Pilot builds on the collaborative work that our colleges have undertaken for many years under the umbrella of The Lancashire Colleges and presents a unique opportunity for them to develop new and deeper working relationships with each other and with employers acting as a launch-pad for future joint work. We aim to meet the Department for Education’s objectives for the SDF Pilots:
- To drive a change in the pattern of provision and build capacity and expertise where it is needed.
- To begin building the local collaborations that will create a stronger and more efficient overall delivery infrastructure and support a more co-ordinated offer across the local area.
- To strengthen the interface between colleges and employers in support of sector focused growth strategies and technology adoption, including through a more sophisticated approach to skills development as an integral part of local business growth and innovation.
- To learn from the funded projects about what works well and in what contexts.
While each of the seven projects is distinctly different they have a number of common features:
- Understanding impact, opportunities and threats to business
- Identification of skills needs, development of skills plans
- Mapping specialist knowledge, skills, resources and equipment
- Co-creating curriculum – innovative, responsive, flexible, accessible
- Resourcing delivery – staff continuous professional development, industry placements, industry-standard equipment and facilities
- Demonstrator facilities – sharing expertise, raising awareness and demand for skills, supporting innovation and collaboration
- Hub and spoke models:
- No wrong door
- Sharing intelligence
- Harnessing expertise and specialisms
- Sharing resources
The Pilot is part of the Government’s Skills Accelerator Programme which also sees the North and Western Chamber of Commerce and the East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce leading the Local Skills Improvement Plan (LSIP) to create a joined-up skills strategy that will help the county become a leading region for zero/low carbon technologies. To find out more about the LSIP please see Home – Lancashire Local Skills Improvement Plan (lancashirelsip.co.uk)