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Levelling Up: 15 Projects Awarded Funding to Support Skills in North East Lincolnshire

8:16 am, Tuesday, 21st May 2024

Fifteen projects focused on supporting skills and education across North East Lincolnshire have been awarded a funding boost through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF).

The UKSPF is the Government’s replacement funding for previous EU investments. Money was given to North East Lincolnshire Council to allocate to projects that were successful in applying in three categories, which are priorities for the borough – those being Communities and Place, Supporting Business, and People and Skills.

One round of funding was awarded in 2023 following successful application bids, with the second round awarded earlier this year, again after a formal bid process.

Of those organisations, 15 are directly related to improving skills and education in North East Lincolnshire and they have received a total pot of £745,000. These upcoming projects hope to improve career prospects and life chances for local people, which presents a challenge with figures showing a large skills gap here compared to national statistics:

  • Only 33.7 percent of students leave secondary school with a good pass in Maths and English, compared to 43.4 percent across England.
  • 8.2 percent of residents in North East Lincolnshire have no qualifications at all.
  • Adult participation in learning has reduced from 7600 residents in 2016/17, to 3050 in 2021/22.

The successful organisations that received UKSPF funding for People and Skills are:

  • Adults Careers Team (North East Lincolnshire Council) – the careerShift programme targets those who are interested in changing their careers, with a focus on industries struggling to recruit. Designed to raise aspiration, the course will be attended by local employers and careers advisors, who will share their knowledge and experience to encourage people to utilise their existing skills differently.
  • CATCH – building on their technical training and apprenticeship programmes, the accredited ECITB Work Ready project for Welding, Pipefitting and Plating will produce more skilled and qualified people for the engineering construction and shutdown labour pool.
  • NAViGO Care CIC – the NAViGATING Healthcare project focuses on pathways into health and social care employment, providing holistic support through training, career advice and work experience opportunities, as well as practical support including wellbeing, finance, digital skills, and confidence.
  • University of Lincoln – led by the University of Lincoln’s National Centre for Food Manufacturing (NCFM), the Seafood Talent Futures project seeks to increase the number of highly skilled individuals employed in Grimsby’s Seafood Processing sector and young people accessing careers within it.
  • Climb4 Ltd – the Build a Brighter Future project is a volunteer and training pathway for those unemployed and 19+, as well as those 16 to 18-year-olds without a grade 4 English and Maths at GCSE level.
  • Ethical Recruitment Agency (ERA) – the Proud to Care Project supports individuals across North East Lincolnshire to access the care sector. The program begins at the start of the application process with DBS checks, references, and interview skills until they are a paid member of staff. The ERA will cover the fees for recruitment, training, and support the pay-rolling of 12 weeks of wages to temporarily alleviate employers of time and costs typically required to train new staff.
  • Grimsby Institute of Further and Higher Education (GIFHE) (TEC Partnership) – delivered by the Automotive Department of GIFHE, the Level 1 Award in Electric and Hybrid Technologies and Carbon Awareness has been developed to equip the learner with the relevant knowledge to be able to work safely on a vehicle which has a high voltage (HV) propulsion system, without working on the HV system itself. The project will cover safe working practices and essential knowledge of hazards associated with electric vehicles and the precautions to follow to avoid these, a priority area for vehicle technicians as the amount of petrol and diesel cars reduces every year.
  • Creating Positive Opportunity – the Creating Better Opportunities project aims to increase employment and retrain those already in work, by offering quality qualifications, licenses, certificates, and structured industry taster days in priority sectors including Construction, Health and Care, and Visitor Economy.
  • Learning4Life-Gy – supporting individuals who have migrated to access opportunities in employment, the English Speaking for Other Languages (ESOL) Vocational English for a Working Life project will deliver weekly sessions of an adapted curriculum, combining English with workplace relevance for non-English speakers.
  • The Equality Practice Ltd (TEP) – the Me-Learning Programme is a 12-week programme focusing on women’s self-belief, to encourage them to go forward with employment and training. By addressing mindset, aspirations, and perceptions of what’s possible, the gender skills gap can be challenged with females feeling more confident to reach out for higher opportunities.
  • Transafe Training (TEC Partnership) – the Logistics and Safety Employer Response (LASER) programme delivers courses to respond to the skills gaps in Logistics. The courses will retrain or upskill employees and learners to meet the needs of the sector, resulting in employment, increased skills, and a reduction of structural barriers to opportunities.
  • Volunteer It Yourself­ – aimed at young people aged 16-24 who are unemployed, the project will support the development of construction trade skills and increase their work readiness, as they help to renovate Kent Street Skate Park in Grimsby.
  • Grimsby Institute of Further and Higher Education (GIFHE) (TEC Partnership) – the Leadership Skills for Social Care project is designed for 19+ learners looking to develop skills to support new or existing roles in the care sector. The course will focus on leadership and knowledge tailored to the care sector, delivered flexibility to accommodate the needs and schedules of everyone involved.
  • The Equality Practice Ltd (TEP) – following previous success in delivering to females aged 19+, the Me-Learning project is being delivered to a younger cohort of 16 to 18-year-olds. A 12-week, adapted version of the programme will be piloted to meet the needs of young women, continuing with a focus on mindset, self-talk and aspirations.
  • Grimsby Institute of Further and Higher Education (GIFHE) (TEC Partnership) – lead by National Employer Training (NET), the Hospitality Key Skills programme will offer hospitality businesses in North East Lincolnshire accredited, sector-specific provisions that address skill shortages in the sector, with qualifications including Food Hygiene and Food Allergens.

Wendy Trask, Operations Manager for Employability at North East Lincolnshire Council, spoke about the importance of skills development, as her team’s careerShift project was awarded UKSPF funding last year.

She said: ‘’We wanted to encourage our unemployed adults to think about widening their scope when it comes to learning and job searching. It’s vital for our local economy that we capitalise on the existing cohort of unemployed, lower-skilled people as well as those with higher skill levels in areas they are no longer interested in working.

‘’By developing the knowledge of people searching for work, we can help bridge the skills gaps in our area, raising aspirations of those involved in careerShift and beyond’’, said Wendy.

North East Lincolnshire Council Leader and Portfolio Holder for Economy, Net Zero, Skills and Housing, Cllr Philip Jackson, is supporting the local skills projects. He said: “These initiatives and schemes are paramount to helping local people achieve their dreams.

“By investing in skills and training, we can build a more prosperous future for everyone across our borough.

“However, none of this would be possible without the UKSPF funding which we are grateful for receiving. These are all wonderful projects that support people from all backgrounds, offering a range of skills to help them throughout their lives.”

Find out more about the projects and see what opportunities are available at Alternatively, you can keep updated with the upcoming funding opportunities in North East Lincolnshire by signing up to the InvestNEL newsletter.

ERA Team