European Social Fund

Preston College to lead ambitious skills drive to ensure Lancashire’s Construction sector is ready to respond to the low carbon agenda

Preston College is leading a new collaboration between Lancashire-based partner Colleges, Construction sector employers and wider stakeholders as Specialist Low Carbon Skills Centres are created across the County.

The ‘Constructing Low-Carbon Lancashire’ Skills Accelerator Project provides direct response to the ambitious ten-point Green Industrial Revolution plan outlined by the Prime Minister in November 2020 and is funded by the Department of Education, as part of its Strategic Development Fund.

Creating ten new courses by 2026, enabling 2224 individuals to gain new low carbon skills, the project provides a collaboration between eight core Further Education colleges. The creation of Building Services Skills Zones at Preston College, a new Plumbing Technology Centre at Blackburn College, an Insulation Technologies Zone at Lancaster and Morecambe College, a Green Initiative Centre at West Lancashire College and the updating of curriculum resources and existing Building Services provision at Blackpool and Fylde and Burnley College, Lancashire-based employers will be supported as the Construction sector transitions to Air Source Heat Pumps, Ground Source Heat Pumps and associated Smart Technologies. Nelson and Colne College Group and Runshaw College are also engaged in supporting this exciting development.

Responding to the low carbon agenda, the project will address both current and future skills shortages in the Construction Industry, with CITB estimates suggesting that 216,800 new employees will be required in the sector before 2025.  The project will also address the critical skills shortages outlined in the Climate Change Committee’s Net Zero Report (May 2019).

Commenting, Mick Noblett, Vice Principal – Curriculum Delivery and Planning and Project Lead said:

“This project is a highly exciting collaboration, not just between Further Education colleges but sector specialists across the Lancashire region. The wide scope of delivery provides ample opportunities for upskilling, by way of CPD for construction employees, dual teaching opportunities and the delivery of masterclasses across key Construction sector disciplines.

Addressing a recognised industry need, in the context of the Lancashire region, the project allows us to deliver the skills, qualifications and competences needed to support the meeting of ambitious targets in the Climate Change Committee’s Net Zero Report, the Intergovernmental Plan on Climate Change (UK 2050 targets) and the Government’s Ten-Point Green Industrial Revolution Plan, through positive and effective collaboration.”

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