Blackburn College played host to an event to address the skills gaps in Lancashire. 

The event, which took place on Wednesday 9th February, was a combined event between the Local Skills Improvement Plan (LSIP) and Blackburn College. 

Local businesses were invited to the event, which was hosted at the College’s Scholars Restaurant, where the LSIP team provided businesses with information about their work examining the technical skills gaps, and barriers to reskilling and upskilling in Blackburn and Darwen and across Lancashire. 

During the event, the Lancashire Skills and Employment Hub provided delegates with an overview of its role in helping to create the conditions for a balanced, skilled, and inclusive labour market to underpin economic well-being, productivity, and growth across the Lancashire Local Enterprise area. 

Local businesses were tasked with debating key questions about future skills needed across Lancashire. The key findings then formed part of a live poll, with the answers from this helping inform the future planning of skills across the county. 

The event was also part of Blackburn College’s National Apprenticeship Week celebrations, with the College celebrating and thanking local employers who provide support for apprentices and full-time students.  

Employers received a certificate of recognition, presented to them by Blackburn College Principal and Chief Executive, Dr Fazal Dad. Businesses that receiving awards were:  Cummins Mellor, Stress Free Print, Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, Blackburn Youth Zone, Forbes Solicitors, Pierce Chartered Accountants, Newground and Ainsworth Jewellers. 

Helen Dimmock from Ainsworth Jewellers who attended the event said:

“It was a fantastic setting to get industry experts together. The environment was conducive to forward planning, with other members from different industries able to share their ideas. We had the opportunity to discuss how we can improve training and the skills development for students.  

 “We were honoured to be recognised for our services to Blackburn College, and the food made by the students at Scholars was amazing.” 

Claire Shore, Senior business Development Manager at Blackburn College said:

“We were delighted to be asked to host the LSIP Roadshow at Blackburn College and have the opportunity to learn about future skills demand first-hand from employers across Lancashire. 

“By getting their feedback on how we are responding to the low carbon and digital agendas by working in partnership, we’ll be better placed to ensure that the current and future workforce is equipped with the skills most needed by employers.” 

Dr Fazal Dad, Principal and Chief Executive of Blackburn College said: 

“It was wonderful to see so many employers supporting our event during National Apprenticeship Week.  

“Many employers commented on the fantastic contribution the students of Blackburn College have made whilst working with the employers.” 

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