An £11.9m package of support has been awarded to 5 new Lancashire projects which aim to help Lancashire's businesses to develop the skill levels of their employees and to provide them with Health & Wellbeing support.

The Lancashire Enterprise Partnership (LEP) is delighted to announce that 5 new Lancashire projects have been commissioned by Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). The projects include:

· ‘Building Successful Futures’ which is aimed at addressing skills shortages by offering practical training courses with the objective of developing the skills and career prospects of employed people, particularly within small and medium sized businesses.

· The ‘LEAP’ project will help employers engage with Apprenticeships, provide bridging provision for employees, mentoring training to supervisors, and provide a Levy transfer service to pay for Apprenticeship training costs for smaller businesses.

· ‘Upskilling Health and Social Care’ will support organisations to upskill their workforce to play an enhanced role within the integrated health and social care system.

· The ‘Building Blocks’ project, part of the Business Health Matters portfolio of projects, will train over 5,000 Workplace Health Champions in small and medium businesses across Lancashire to help boost the health and productivity of their employees.

· The ‘STELa’ project will increase the level of engagement of Lancashire’s small to medium businesses in Technical Education through the provision of industrial placements and other work experience opportunities.

All the initiatives are part funded by the European Social Fund (ESF).

Dr Michele Lawty-Jones, Director of the Lancashire Skills and Employment Hub commented: “I’m delighted these important skills initiatives are receiving a vital funding boost. At the Lancashire Skills & Employment Hub we have a strategic role to support and develop the EU Structural and Investment Funds Strategy for the county and have directed funds towards the priorities identified in the Lancashire Skills and Employment Strategic Framework.

Through ESF funding we support projects that help people into employment, promote social inclusion and that develop the skills of the workforce. This funding also contributes to improving youth employment by providing support for young people – something that is vital now more than ever.”

Miranda Barker, Chief Executive of East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce, LEP Director and Chair of the Lancashire ESIF Committee said: “Lancashire has a track record of successful ESF funded skills programmes that support the skills priorities of the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership. Reskilling & Upskilling the current workforce and Healthy Workplaces are key priorities in the Lancashire Skills and

Employment Strategic Framework particularly within the context of COVID 19 and economic recovery and it is good news that funds have been allocated to support these priorities”

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