Contact us 01772 625567

​Skilled Workforce

Our world-renowned engineering heritage has provided the legacy of a highly skilled workforce - not only in advanced manufacturing but across many other sectors.

South Ribble consistently has unemployment levels well below the county and national rates. This is due in part to the mobility and flexibility of our labour force. Over half the working population living in South Ribble travels to work elsewhere - mainly in Preston and Chorley.  Similarly, around 45% of the people working in South Ribble live outside the borough a providing access to a large, mobile workforce.

Advanced Manufacturing Skills at Leyland Trucks

Educational standards are high; GCSE and equivalent results come in well above the regional and national averages, as do A level results.  According the government’s official A level performance data, Runshaw College is one of the highest performing colleges - nationally.

Within 35 miles are the universities of Manchester, Liverpool, Lancaster, Central Lancashire and Edge Hill providing an abundant supply of graduates.  The Knowledge Transfer Programmes and specialist sector support available from the University of Central Lancashire and other local higher education helps ensure that our businesses have access to all their current and future skills needs. The Academy for Skills & Knowledge at Samlesbury Enterprise Zone is a £15.6m investment to ensure our people have the skills ready to continue engineering and manufacturing the military aircraft of the future.

The Employment Taskforce brings together local organisations including Jobcentre Plus, Runshaw College and Preston’s College to co-ordinate help with recruitment, training, work trials, apprenticeships and other employment incentives to meet the needs of businesses. Our local colleges and training providers offer any additional help you need to develop your staff and business skills.

Runshaw Business Centre delivers training and development programmes and work based training to hundreds of businesses across the North West. They deliver quality bespoke training solutions, designed to address each client's training and development needs. Their Business Engagement and Development team is ready to help you with every step of securing an apprentice for your business. Runshaw College is holding free employer information events during January 2017, please follow the link to book your place at the Apprenticeship Levy and Standards Information Event

Preston’s College offers a wide range of job-related courses from BTECs and NVQs through to Apprenticeships, with courses tailored around the needs of employers. Preston's College is working with Lancashire LEP to offer support under the Government's Skills Support Initiative. Please call 01772 225577 for details.

From spring 2017 the way the government funds apprenticeships in England is changing. Some employers will be required to contribute to a new apprenticeship levy, and there will be changes to the funding for apprenticeship training for all employers. The apprenticeship levy requires all employers operating in the UK, with a pay bill over £3 million each year, to make an investment in apprenticeships. You can benefit from this investment by training apprentices.

This guidance provides information on how the apprenticeship levy will work, it also explains the principles that apprenticeship funding will operate on whether you pay the levy or not. The details are available on the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills apprenticeship levy pages.

Boost Business Lancashire offers a Growth Mentoring programme for ambitious Lancashire businesses. Growth Mentoring is a fully funded programme, which is delivered by Orvia and Community and Business Partners, for Lancashire business-to-business focused companies (SMEs). Support is offered from a successful business person to address the challenges that any growing business must overcome including business planning and  human resource management. To check if you would be eligible and for further information please contact: 01772 429290 or email:

You can access Government funding to cover some of the cost of training and assessing an apprentice if you have a business in England:

Our local colleges and training providers can offer all the support you need and the National Apprenticeship Service can guide you to the right choice through their website or by calling: 0800 015 0600

Further help still is provided by the The Lancashire Work-Based Learning Executive Forum (LWBLEF) training portal. The portal helps to make it easy for you to find your ideal training provider from the high quality work-based learning opportunities available to young people and adults within the workforce in Lancashire. 

Learn Direct are offering a Level 1 Award in Social Media for Business Use. Please see our download page for full details. 

The Skills Construction Centre is offering a 3 day Labourer’s Fully Funded CSCS Card course for candidates who are in receipt of Work Age Related Benefits and 19+. Please see our downloads page for the details.

Support is also available under the Armed Forces Employability Pathway (AFEP), which aims to support unemployed people into both civilian employment and the armed forces reserves. Please see the information on our download page for further details. 

Skills to meet your business needs.

South Ribble Borough Council
Civic Centre, West Paddock
Leyland, Lancashire PR25 1DH
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