Preston College wins government-funded contract from Preston City Council to deliver skills programmes

In November, Preston City Council put a call out for experienced partners to deliver a range of skills development programmes to support local people as part of its UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) programme.

Councillors had earlier agreed to invest more than £1m of their UKSPF allocation specifically to target and enhance employability and skills across the city.

Preston College secured the contract to deliver three of these – the first around ‘green’ skills, the second providing training to counter specific skills shortages in Preston and lastly a curriculum to help residents improve their existing skills to progress or secure better paid jobs.

The Green Skills Project will provide essential training in sectors that are key to the net-zero transition, such as low carbon construction, transport electrification and sustainable energy. It will also provide custom made courses from beginner to practitioner on areas that will help organisations shift to low carbon practices, such as digital skills for carbon monitoring.

The Local Skills Project aims to supplement the existing Adult Education Budget to enable a greater range of courses to be offered and to help those who are not eligible for full-fee support, to access free skills training.

It will deliver training and qualifications that respond to skills and sector shortages in Preston, such as health and social care, engineering, service industries and construction. The overall aim is to increase the skill levels of Preston’s workforce, reduce unemployment and promote economic growth.

The final commissioned project will support working people to gain skills to progress, in areas like team leadership, management, and customer service. Learners will be able to choose from a selection of courses to build bespoke packages that suit their training needs.

Councillor Valerie Wise, Cabinet Member for Community Wealth Building said: “These projects will go a long way to addressing skills gaps, boosting the life-chances of local people and supporting economic growth in Preston.

‘’We are excited to be working with Preston College whose industry knowledge and ‘industry standard’ programmes are second to none.”

Simon Nixon, Principal and Chief Executive, added: "I am delighted that we have been successful in securing the contract to deliver these important projects as part of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

“Our commitment to promoting innovation, opportunity and community wellbeing, whilst also contributing positively to the local economy, is integral to our College Mission; working collaboratively with Preston City Council on these projects, supporting skills, employment and sustainability, is a further demonstration of this commitment.”

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