NEW skills training opportunities are set to be launched in growing sectors in Cumbria after further and higher education training providers in the county were awarded a multi-million-pound funding boost.

Skillshub Cumbria, which is led by Lakes College with partners Carlisle College, Furness College, Kendal College, Gen2, Newton Rigg Ltd, SP Training and University of Cumbria, will receive £2,499,989 from the Government’s Local Skills Improvement Fund to support the development of in-demand skills training in low carbon, land based and logistics, digital, and catering and hospitality.

The funding will make sure more people can access qualifications at Level 3 and above with the creation of new training hubs and delivery of high-spec equipment across Cumbria.

Chris Nattress, principal of Lakes College, said: “We are delighted to secure funding support for skills in Cumbria within the Local Skills Investment Fund.

“We have a range of innovative skills projects all lined up with several skills partners in our region, working closely with our partners Cumbria Chamber of Commerce, all directly linked to the Local Skills Improvement Plan.

“We will use revenue and capital support to aim directly at priority needs in our key sectors and look forward to continuing our very successful collaborative work directly with employers.”

Cumbria Chamber of Commerce was commissioned to develop a Local Skills Improvement Plan for the county, which was published this summer and will be used to inform the training development to best meet regional skills needs.

Suzanne Caldwell, managing director of Cumbria Chamber of Commerce, said: “It’s great that Cumbrian partners now have the funding confirmed to implement their LSIF projects.

“These will enable further important steps in implementing the Cumbrian Local Skills Improvement Plan, impacting positively on both employers and learners.

“We’re looking forward to continuing to work with them on this, and I know other Cumbrian stakeholders are too.”

Jo Lappin, chief executive of Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “This is excellent news and congratulations to the Lakes College team on securing this funding on behalf of Cumbria.

“Importantly, this funding has to be targeted on meeting the skills needs of businesses and given that this is a challenge for many of our businesses this funding can make a big difference.

“I would really encourage businesses to explore how Lakes College and our other FE colleges in Cumbria can help them meet their skills needs.”

Posted 20th December 2023