Skills Support

Fully funded workplace training

For SME’s in Lancashire

What Are The Benefits Of Upskilling Your Staff?

Skills Support for the Workforce (SSW) is a new government funded workplace skills programme tailored to the needs of businesses in your area. learndirect is delivering this programme through our network of high quality training providers in Lancashire.

learndirect is working in partnership with the Lancashire Enterprise Partnerships & Boost; Lancashire’s Business Growth Hub to provide a range of bespoke training programmes and qualifications. These include IT, leadership and management, as well as a comprehensive range of vocationally-relevant courses targeting specific sectors. Our training programmes are designed to address skills gaps within local businesses, with a focus on the LEPs’ priority sectors to help boost the local economy in Lancashire.

If you’d like to improve your businesses productivity, we can provide you with funded, accredited training to boost the confidence and efficiency of your staff through new skills and qualifications.

Our approach is tailored to meet the unique needs of your business and your people – one of our local experts will visit you to carry out a free consultation, after which they will develop a bespoke training plan designed to tackle skills gaps in your workforce.

Our training is flexible – it can be delivered direct to staff on your premises, at one of our local centres or wherever there’s access to the internet.

Across the skills support for the workforce programme in Lancashire we have:


Employers engaged


Learners engaged

90 %

Achievement rate

Priority Sector Updates

Advanced Manufacturing & Engineering

  • The manufacturing sector has one of the highest rates of skill shortage vacancies in Lancashire at 23%, according to the latest UK Employer Skills Survey.
  • The advanced manufacturing sector employs around 73,300 people in Lancashire, accounting for 12% of total employment.
  • The Advanced Manufacturing sector has been identified as a key sector for Lancashire and it is recognised that the skills and employment system play a crucial role in supporting growth in the sector.
  • Drivers for change in the manufacturing sector will have a significant implication for skill needs, requiring a flexible workforce with strong specialist skills in niche areas.

* Source: Lancashire LEP

Find out more about advanced manufacturing & engineering funded training in Lancashire:


  • The construction sector will be vital to Lancashire if it is to achieve its economic ambitions over the coming years.
  • The sector currently employs over 35,000 people in Lancashire, and forecasts suggest growth of 8,000 employees over the next ten years.
  • Increasing demand for construction is likely to lead to more severe skills shortages in skilled trades.
  • Post recession, skilled workers who have secured employment in other sectors are reluctant to move back into construction

* Source: Lancashire LEP

Find out more about construction funded training in Lancashire:

Creative & Digital

  • The UK’s Creative Economy has expanded rapidly in recent years driven primarily by rapid technological advances and the digitisation of the wider economy.
  • The extent and pace of change in the sector is leading to recruitment challenges and skills gaps amongst the existing workforce.
  • The data indicates that within Lancashire, there are over 22,000 jobs in Creative Industries.
  • Skills gaps are more prevalent in the digital sub-sector than in the workforce as a whole, with 7 per cent of employees not fully proficient in their role.

* Source: Lancashire LEP

Find out more about creative & digital funded training in Lancashire:

Energy & Environment

  • The Energy and Environmental Technologies sector is one of seven key business sectors in Lancashire that the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has identified as a future driver of jobs and wealth.
  • The Energy and Environmental Technologies sector employs around 40,000 people in over 5,200 businesses in Lancashire.
  • Cambridge Econometrics, as part of their Working Futures publication for UKCES, expect to see an increase in energy sector jobs nationally of 33,000 (8%) in the decade to 2022.
  • Lancashire’s Energy and Environmental Technologies sector accounts for around 40,000 jobs, 6.5% of Lancashire’s total workforce and 2.5% of the sector nationally.

* Source: Lancashire LEP

Find out more about energy & environment funded training in Lancashire:

Finance & Professional Services

  • Lancashire’s Financial and Professional Services sector employs around 82,000 people in over 10,200 businesses.
  • Lancashire’s Financial and Professional Services sector since 2009 has grown more quickly in terms of employment (at a rate of 12% pa) than the national average (9% pa, over the same period).
  • UK Financial and Professional Services employment is projected to increase by 1m to 9m people by 2022, a 13% increase on 2012 employment levels according to UKCES.
  • In Lancashire, the expected increase in the number of FPS jobs in the decade to 2022 varies from 16,000 (or 14%, source: UCKES) to 38,000 (or 32%, source: Oxford Economics).

* Source: Lancashire LEP

Find out more about finance & professional services funded training in Lancashire:

Health & Social Care

  • The Health and Social Care sector employs more Lancashire residents than any other sector
    16 percent of all jobs in the county are in Health and Social Care, providing work to just under 100,000 people.
  • Lancashire’s over-65 population will rise by 23% in a decade, which will place an increasing demand on the sector.
  • Employment grew almost a quarter in Burnley between 2010-13, followed by Blackburn with Darwen (20% growth)

* Source: Lancashire LEP

Find out more about health & social care funded training in Lancashire:

Visitor Economy

  • Visitor Economy is one of seven key business sectors in Lancashire that the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has identified as a future driver of jobs and wealth.
  • The visitor economy provides employment and upskilling opportunities, improves and protects the built and natural environments and creates demand for high quality businesses and services.
  • The visitor economy supports almost 3,800 businesses and more than 50,000 jobs (8% of the Lancashire labour market), plus many more in the local supply chain.
  • The visitor economy sector is growing. Forecasts predict that the sector will need nearly 4,000 more full time equivalents between 2014 and 2020, rising to over 5,000 when supply chain jobs are included.

* Source: Lancashire LEP

Find out more about visitor economy funded training in Lancashire:

How are businesses benefiting

What can skills support for the workforce do for your business?

  • Increase productivity and save money
  • Improve staff retention
  • Flexible delivery to minimise business impact
  • Employees communicate, participate and contribute more effectively
  • Builds a personalised learning plan to feed into probation and annual review process
  • Linking in with Lancashire LEP business initiatives to support your business
  • Accredited training

What type of courses are available for your organisation?

Diploma qualifications

These qualifications are delivered entirely in the workplace, meaning your staff are assessed on the essential skills and knowledge they need to do their job well. On average they take around six months to complete.


Our programmes are delivered in the workplace and feature a number of units taken from the relevant diploma qualification. They act as a great introduction for your staff to gain the skills they require to succeed in their job and take around three months to complete. Your staff then have the option to progress onto our full diploma.


Our packages bring together a range of training options that can be adapted to meet the needs of your business. They are flexible and designed to equip your staff with the skills, experience and understanding they need to deliver.

Short courses

We offer a range of short online courses across a number of business sectors which provide specific training for a variety of job roles

Training provided by:

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What others say about us…

Becky Toal

“The training provided by learndirect has definitely made an impact.”

Becky ToalManaging Director | Crowberry Consulting - Chorley
Mary Finnegan

“Overall experience with learndirect was absolutely positive.”

Mary FinneganOffice Manager | Crowberry Consulting - Chorley
Nathan Green

“The support provided by learndirect was fantastic from start to finish.”

Nathan GreenProject Manager for Sustainability Apprentice | Crowberry Consulting - Chorley
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