A package worth £13m to help Lancashire people develop their skill levels and improve their job prospects has been unveiled.
The Lancashire Enterprise Project (LEP) has launched a new community grants scheme and recommissioned three existing projects with the Education Skills Funding Agency, all funded by the European Social Fund (ESF), which together will help around 8,000 local people between now and July 2021 to move into employment, apprenticeships or further training or progress in work.
The ESF-funded projects Access to Employment, Moving On and Skills Support for the Workforce, have been recommissioned because of their success in their first three years.
Since they were set up in 2016, Access to Employment and Moving On have supported 8,500 local people combined, while Skills Support for the Workforce has worked with 800 businesses. The three programmes delivered £27m of support in total to local people.
Dennis Mendoros, LEP Director and Chair of the ESIF Committee, which has oversight of the ESF programme in Lancashire, said: “We deliver some of the most successful ESF projects in the UK. Over the past three years, they have made a significant difference to many people’s lives in Lancashire, helping thousands of local people to learn new skills and improve their job prospects.
“They have had a huge impact in terms of fostering the economic health and well-being of the Lancashire’s workforce, promoting inclusive growth and maximising social value for the benefit of the local community as a whole.
“They are an essential part of the LEP’s strategy to drive economic growth and job creation, particularly in key sectors like construction, manufacturing, financial and professional services, creative and digital and health and social care.
“So our decision to continue them – and launch an exciting, new community grants scheme – is great news for local people and Lancashire as a whole.
“I would strongly encourage any individuals or community projects who feel they could benefit from any of the support we offer through our ESF projects to get in touch to find out more.”