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Exciting plans for The Harris

The Harris will temporarily close from 5pm on Saturday 2 October.

Recruitment, Training, Skills and Apprenticeships

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Kickstart Scheme

The Kickstart Scheme provides funding to create new job placements for 16 to 24 year olds on Universal Credit who are at risk of long term unemployment. Employers of all sizes can apply for funding which covers:

Employers can spread the start date of the job placements up until the end of December 2021.

For more information check the guidance for employers.

Skills for Work

Lancashire Skills and Employment Hub have brought together information about support that can help you get a job, and if you are employed there is help for you to learn new skills. Over 50 organisations across the whole of Lancashire are working together to make it easy for you to find work and training.

There are 100s of offers across Lancashire here to help you learn new skills or to support your health and wellbeing.

For more information visit Skills for Work - Preston.

Lancashire Skills Swap

The Lancashire Enterprise Partnership's Skills and Employment Hub has launched the Lancashire Skills Swap service to support the local business community during the coronavirus pandemic.

This unique service is dedicated to helping businesses who are looking for staff or volunteers, want to train their staff or want to offer people with knowledge and expertise to work for another business.

It's simple, go to the Lancashire Skills Swap page and complete the registration form.

The details of your business' need or offer will be posted on the Lancashire Skills Swap noticeboard.

Lancashire Skills and Employment Hub

The Lancashire Skills and Employment Hub offers support around skills and employment with help for your business with recruitment, apprentices, training and improving skills:

  • Skills Pledge - one place to find out more about employer facing skills and training initiatives. You only need to sign up and then a Pledge Partner who is an expert, will get in touch with you to help you to Pledge.  Pledging will give your business recognition for the things it does to upskill, recruit and inspire the people of Lancashire.
  • Recruitment - Free support to help you recruit and apprentices to fill your vacancies
  • Upskilling - Help to upskill your staff 
  • Apprenticeships - 
  • Free Training Needs Analysis 
  • Subsidised/funded training for your staff
  • Use apprenticeship training to develop your staff


Apprenticeships, like businesses, come in all shapes and sizes and are suitable for anyone over 16 and all types of business. They can help you to grow your own talent, reduce staff turnover and give your business the skills it needs to succeed.

To find out how apprenticeships could work for your organisation visit How to employ an apprentice and funding help and Steps for Hiring an Apprentice

See Incentive payments for hiring a new apprentice for help you can receive

New Redundancy Support Service for Apprentices

The new Redundancy Support Service for Apprentices is a new online and telephone service for apprentices who have lost their jobs during the Covid-19 outbreak.  Apprentices can:

  • access local and national services for financial, legal, health and wellbeing support
  • find a new job
  • search and apply for other apprenticeship opportunities across the country


Local guidance about apprenticeships

  • The Lancashire Levy Transfer Network enables Lancashire businesses to get the support they need to access apprenticeship training for their staff. Organisations in both the private and public sectors who have a wage bill of more than £3 million are required to pay the apprenticeship levy. They are able to transfer up to 25 percent of their levy funding to any other employer. The Network aims to simplify the process of matching up businesses for mutual benefit; levy-payers do not lose their underspent funds to a central government pot and instead, the maximum amount is utilised. Organisations wanting to learn more can visit the Lancashire Levy Transfer Network website or email for more information .

  • The Lancashire Work-Based Learning Executive Forum provides really useful guidance on apprenticeships, funding and details of training providers and other work-based training opportunities. Tel:  01254 306831 / 07534493111 or email
  •  Preston's College can support businesses with training, business courses and apprenticeships. Telephone 01772 22 50 00
  • The University of Central Lancashire can help you develop your workforce including a new range of Degree Apprenticeships. Telephone 01772 892248
  •  Lancashire Skills and Employment Hub is part of the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership. It can support businesses to inspire young people, recruit local people, and upskill their staff. 
  • Apprentice Factory - South Ribble Borough Council Apprentice Factory provides impartial, specialist support to businesses, people considering a career change and students planning their future careers.

Training and skills

Train an apprentice

  • Are you looking to upskill your current workforce? Did you know that apprenticeship funding can be used for any age group and can also be used for your current teams? More information at: Train an apprentice 


  • A traineeship is a skills development programme that includes a work placement. It can last from 6 weeks up to 1 year, though most traineeships last for less than 6 months.
  • Keep an eye out for more information from the Government about a  £111 million boost to triple the number of traineeships available across England - the largest-ever expansion of traineeships - to help make sure more 16-24 year olds have the skills, experience and confidence they need to enter the world of work.

Skills Support for the Workplace

The Skills Support for the Workplace offers fully funded training for you and your staff.

  • Analysis of current skills gaps in your business and bespoke learning plans to meet these skills gaps
  • Flexible delivery - programmes can be delivered at your business, at one of their training centres or across different sites

The Programmes:

  • Include coaching support to develop both vocational and soft skills
  • Can be used to develop basic skills in literacy and numeracy
  • Include specialist support for businesses going through restructures and where staff are at risk of redundancy
  • Can include employability skills to help individuals to find alternative employment

There are a range of accredited and non-accredited programmes to choose from at various levels covering qualifications and skills for people working in many different sectors from retail to advanced manufacturing.

And, some of the programmes only take a day or two to complete - meaning minimal impact on your business.

Skills Support for Redundancy Programme

During these challenging times for businesses the Skills Support for Redundancy programme is still available in Lancashire as part of Skills Support for the Workforce.

The programme is delivered by The Growth Company and their supply chain. 

The programme provides a fully funded tailored service for employers and can support employees at risk of redundancy or who have recently been made redundant (within the last 3 months) and can include subjects such as employability skills, CV developing, IT skills and interview skills.

Icon for pdf Skills Support for Redundancy Programme [368.4KB] 

The National Careers Service is also providing high quality impartial advice and guidance to more young people and adults who have been affected by coronavirus.

Upskilling Lancashire

The Upskilling Lancashire project can support you and your staff to increase skills. A member of the project team will visit you to discuss your business plans and objectives. They will support your businesses to identify, design, develop and implement work-force education and training programmes linked to the strategic needs of your business. The project will prepare the business to engage in the provision of a range of apprenticeships for current and future employees.

More information at Upskilling Lancashire


  • EnginE provides dedicated support to advanced engineering and manufacturing SMEs, through free skills planning expertise, taster sessions, masterclasses and skills champions, so that you can see the impact skills can have in future proofing your business success and productivity. 

Digital Training


The Inspiring Digital Enterprise Award, known as iDEA is an international programme that helps you develop digital, enterprise and employability skills for free.

Embrace Digital

The Embrace Digital programme is a series of webinars, workshops and 1:1 support to help businesses decide which digital software can support their future resilience and growth.  The programme covers digital productivity tools, digital marketing, cloud accounting and e commerce, and is fully funded for Lancashire businesses by Lancashire County Council.

Join one or more of the intro webinars to get started, or see the full list of events at Event Brite - Embrace Digital Lancashire.

Skills Bootcamps 

Skills Bootcamps are flexible courses of up to 16 weeks, giving people the opportunity to build industry specific skills and fast track to an interview with a local employer.  In Lancashire there are a range of Skills Bootcamps on offer focused digital skills.

Local businesses can also encourage existing staff to take a Skills Bootcamp, helping to fill skills gaps.

For more information on what's available to Lancashire residents visit Lancashire Skills and Employment Hub - Skills Bootcamp Lancashire

HR and employee relations

  • ACAS - the Advisory Conciliation and Arbitration Service offers free guidance on HR issues and employee relations. Employers can access free confidential advice on the ACAS helpline on 0300 123 1190.

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