Fylde businesses must continue to invest in skills during the tough times to ensure they are ready to reap the rewards in the good times, a leading Lancashire academic has said.
Dr Lis Smith, Principal and CEX at Preston’s College, said firms in the county could not afford to allow a skills gap in key professions to widen and had to focus on not only recruiting new staff but ensuring they upskill their existing workforce.
The ‘skills gap’ is a buzzword which we hear so often in everyday life, businesses could be forgiven for thinking it is something they do not need to worry about
Key sectors including engineering, technology and manufacturing are among the areas where a shortage of skilled labour has been highlighted as an issue nationally.
Preston’s College is one of the sponsors of the Be Inspired Business Awards, which attracts scores of Fylde entries and will be presented at Blackpool Tower next month.
Dr Dr Smith said: “The ‘skills gap’ is a buzzword which we hear so often in everyday life, Businesses could be forgiven for thinking it is something they do not need to worry about.
“In reality, it is a challenge facing all parts of society, whether that is parents seeking bright, secure futures for their children, businesses needing skilled workers both now and in the future and educators who recognise we are charged with delivering these people.
“Just last year, Preston’s College has opened facilities dedicated to developing construction skills and our iSTEM Centre which is purpose-built to deliver skills required for our advanced engineering and manufacturing industries.”