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Skills swap service to help Preston’s people and businesses find each other

Posted on - 27th April, 2020 - 6:00am | Author - | Posted in - Business, Health, Preston News
Four business people's fists together Pic: Mohamed Hassan from Pixabay
Pic: Mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

A new Lancashire-wide skills swap service that’s designed to link people with businesses has launched.

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The Lancashire Enterprise Partnership has created the Lancashire Skills Swap to support the business community during the coronavirus pandemic.

Opportunities are posted on an online Skills Swap Noticeboard so it’s easy to see what is needed and what is on offer. 

The Skills Swap team is on hand to help people and businesses link up with each other and swap skills. The team can also help businesses access training for current and furloughed staff.

Businesses who want to offer their organisation’s skills and expertise to others, or to encourage furloughed staff to volunteer, can also use the service.

Steve Fogg, Chair of the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership, said: “At this time more than ever, the skills needs of all businesses are changing rapidly. There are now huge skills demands in certain sectors and a supply of people who are not currently working from other sectors.

“We saw that there was no single place for Lancashire’s business community to communicate opportunities and needs for addressing the skills needs of Lancashire. This service is here to help.”

Read more: Preston printing firm adapts to make face shields for health and care workers

One of the first businesses to register on the Lancashire Skills Swap was the Affilius Group, which is offering staff to work for or within another business to offer knowledge and expertise in IT, software, networks and remote working. 

This would be a free service from the Affilius Group to most recipient organisations, but not for all. For example, a charity needing support should receive it for free, whereas a highly profitable commercial business needing support may be charged.

Andrew Dewhurst, MD of Affilius Group, said: “I registered on Skills Swap because we are keen to support Lancashire’s businesses through our expertise in IT which is critically needed at this time.”

Lancashire County Council is another organisation which has registered on Skills Swap as it needs to recruit more paid carers to care for the most vulnerable residents across Lancashire.

Read more: More emergency government funding paid out to Preston small businesses

The Lancashire Skills Swap is part of the wider #AskForHelp campaign led by Boost, Lancashire’s Business Growth Hub, and Lancashire Business View. A dedicated online hub offers the latest government and partner advice, information and support to Lancashire’s business community.

At the campaign’s heart is the #AskForHelp message, designed to reassure businesses that ongoing support can be accessed from a multitude of experienced providers through a single call to Boost.

Read more: Preston businesses urged to reach out for help during coronavirus crisis

Steve said: “Boost’s traditional role has been to help Lancashire businesses of all sizes achieve their growth potential. While that remains at the heart of what Boost does, a shift in emphasis towards support during the coronavirus crisis was the right thing to do.

“Business is as tough now as it has ever been, but we want Lancashire owners and managers to know that we are here to help and we have advisers available to provide the best business guidance.

“Whatever your reason for needing it, all you have to do is #AskForHelp.”

Read moreSee the latest business news in Preston

Support for businesses is available by calling Boost on 0800 488 0057 or by visiting the #AskForHelp hub on the Boost website.

To access the Lancashire Skills Swap, visit the Lancashire Skills Hub website. Contact the team by emailing LancsSkillsHub@lancashirelep.co.uk.

Read moreSee the latest Preston news and headlines

Will you be using the Skills Swap? Let us know in the comments.

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