We are working with partners, developing Lancashire’s Technical Education offer to meet the skills needs of local business.
The focus for our work on developing Lancashire’s technical education offer is outlined in our Technical Education Vision. The Vision was first shared in 2017 and we have now published a Progress Report showing progress and reinforcing priorities at the 5 year point.
The Report of the Independent Panel on Technical Education, 2016, chaired by Lord Sainsbury, has given new focus to Technical Education in England, resulting in the government’s Post-16 Skills Plan and the Skills and Post-16 Education Act 2022, focusing initially on new, high quality level 3 courses for 16-19 year olds – T Levels. Further national research on Higher Technical Education has also identified a ‘Missing Middle’ – the shortage of people qualified to levels 4 and 5.
Lancashire has a strong history of technical education and a good network of Apprenticeship provision with employers increasingly looking to address skills gaps through education and training. The Local Skills Improvement Plan (LSIP) now also adds to the skills gap information from employers, to which the local technical education infrastructure can respond.
However, Lancashire lags the Northwest and national average for attainment at Levels 4 and above (HND, Foundation Degrees etc). This impacts on productivity and in turn a lower than average weekly wage. Skills and employment forecasts indicate that there will be a greater demand for employees with Level 4+ skills, particularly technical and professional skills.
Our work with the Gatsby Foundation has supported our education providers and employers in preparation for T Levels, a high quality technical learning route for 16-19 year olds, equivalent to 3 A Levels in intensity, with an Industry Placement of at least 315 hours integral to the qualification and progression routes to skilled work and learning at Level 4 and above.
Our research into the offer of learning at Level 4 and 5, such as HNDs, Foundation Degrees, Certificates and Diplomas maps this provision against identified needs of business in the area. This has supported Lancashire’s colleges successful bid for an Institute of Technology.
If you wish to support technical education in Lancashire and find out more about taking an Apprentice or offering a talented young person an Industry Placement within your business, learn more about our Skills Pledge, where knowledgeable professionals can contact you to discuss how technical education will benefit your business.