'Employers committed to improving workforce'

Celebrations at the BIBAs
Celebrations at the BIBAs
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Preston’s College principal and chief executive, Dr Lis Smith, says Lancashire employers are demonstrating a clear commitment to upskilling the county’s workforce.

This comes following a visit to eight Lancashire employers as part of the BIBAs on Tour judging panel for the prestigious ‘Employer of the Year Award’, which Preston’s College sponsor.

For over five years the College has sponsored categories at the ‘Be Inspired Business Awards’, whose award ceremony will take place at The Blackpool Tower Ballroom on September 14.

The judging panel, also including representatives from Hays, Forbes Solicitors and BLM, visited businesses based between Morecambe and Accrington that operate across a range of sectors from manufacturing to health & social care.

Lis Smith, principal & chief executive at Preston’s College, said: “The companies that we visited as part of the ‘BIBAs on Tour’ demonstrated an exceptional commitment to their workforce, ensuring staff have the correct knowledge, skills and qualifications suitable for their role.

“Equally, one of our key priorities is to ensure Lancashire’s existing workforce has the practical skills and qualifications to meet the labour market demand in key priority sectors.

“This is achieved through aligning education and industry to ensure training has been designed alongside employer partners and aligns with modern day skill needs.”

The Lancashire Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has already identified that Lancashire has a growing skills gap, particularly in relation to higher skills.

Its findings indicate that there isn’t a pipeline of young people in Lancashire with higher level skills and qualifications to meet industry demand.

As such, employers must look towards upskill their existing workforce to futureproof their business over the next decade.