From education to employment

LSC Announce Further Effort to Improve Workforce Efficiency

The Learning and Skills Council (LSC) in Lancashire has announced that its Employer Training Pilot (ETP) to support workforce development in the region is to benefit from a £7 million funding boost.

The programme, which is part of a £150 million national pilot project, is designed to reimburse a wide range of employers that agree to give lower-skilled employees paid time off work to undertake education and training courses. The pilot offers a wage contribution/subsidy to enable employers to release their employees during normal working hours to undertake training.

The pilot aims to improve workforce skills in Lancashire by offering heavily subsidised training at NVQ level 2 by providing employers with a financial contribution towards the costs of staffing whilst their employees are in training (31.1% of the working population do not have Level 2 qualifications and it is estimated that the cost of poor literacy and numeracy skills can cost a company employing 51-100 employees £108,000 per year).

Good News Travels

The project is managed in the Lancashire area by the LSC in partnership with Business Link North and Western Lancashire. Businesses across all sectors which do not currently invest heavily in training for their low-skilled workers are the main target for the pilot scheme. The pilot is open to all businesses and other organisations from the private, public and voluntary sectors although training for volunteers, strangely, is excluded.

Steve Palmer, executive director of the LSC in Lancashire, said: “This is excellent news for both businesses and employees across Lancashire. Over 4500 employees from over 600 organisations are already benefiting from the training and I would urge more employers to consider the significant benefits the ETP can bring to their businesses.”

All businesses in Lancashire with lower skilled employees over the age of 19 are eligible to take part in the pilot. There are high hopes for the scheme, and it is hoped to offer flexible and responsible support and training focusing upon assessing employees” existing skills, establishing their requirements and fitting training to their needs.

Staff at Lancashire – based Bosal (UK) Ltd have recently undertaken training through the ETP. Andrew McCrae, manufacturing director at Bosal said: “ETP has exceptional benefits for both the employer and the employee. As an employer, we have seen a more dedicated workforce, which has impacted on productivity and therefore profitability. Our employees have gained qualifications and improved work skills and are more motivated in their work.”

Michael Lloyd

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