1. Visit Preston
  2. Preston Markets
Open site navigation menu

Digital Training boost for workers in Preston

16 February 2024

In November, Preston City Council put a call out for high quality, experienced partners to deliver a range of skills development programmes to support local people as part of its UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) programme.

Councillors had earlier agreed to invest more than £1m of their UKSPF allocation specifically to target and enhance employability and skills across the city. 

Preston-based UK Skills Academy won the contract to deliver a digital skills programme for city-wide businesses and working people in Preston.

The thinking behind the programme was to encourage people to develop the digital literacy skills and knowledge needed in an increasingly digital world and to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and their staff to adapt to the digital workplace.

By acquiring essential and enhanced IT skills, people will gain greater confidence to carry out their roles and move up the career ladder. In turn, businesses will be better equipped to grow and seize new opportunities. 

Cllr Valerie Wise, Cabinet Member for Community Wealth Building said:

"We were extremely impressed with UK Skills Academy and their track record in upskilling both employees and organisations alike. We will be investing £90,000 in UKSPF funding in the programme to enable the team to work with Prestonians to enhance their employability and ensure they are better equipped to compete in the job market." 

Gemma Beech, Chief Executive of the UK Skills Academy said:

"We are delighted to have won this procurement in our home city and be able to give back to businesses through digital upskilling. We are looking forward to delivering this programme over the next two years and building long-lasting relationships with Preston Council moving forwards." 

UK Skills Academy are an experienced training provider with a broad range of expertise in areas such as Digital, Low Carbon, Construction, Business and Sustainability. They bring over ten years' proven experience delivering similar skills development training in the North West.  

The organisation already delivers a wide range of digital skills development programmes, stretching from the basics to Level 2, 3 and 4 qualifications. This programme will capitalise on this, with learners being able to either select units in a 'Pick and Mix' approach to build a learning plan that is tailored to their role and development needs or undertake formal, accredited packages.  

Contact Details

This programme is open to Preston residents or employees working for Preston- based businesses.

To find out more, contact UK Skills Academy:

Additional Information

The UK Shared Prosperity Fund is a central pillar of the UK government's Levelling Up agenda and provides £2.6 billion of funding for local investment by March 2025.

The Fund aims to improve pride in place and increase life chances across the UK investing in communities and place, supporting local business, and people and skills. For more information, GOV.UK - Shared Prosperity Fund Prospectus.

The investment in this programme is £129,364 of UKSPF funding and it will run for two years.

Preston City Council actively applies and prioritises the principles of Community Wealth Building wherever applicable and appropriate. Community Wealth Building is an approach which aims to ensure the economic system builds wealth and prosperity for everyone.  


Back left to right, Sarah Threlfall Assistant CEO Preston City Council and Peter Griffiths, UKSPF Programme Manager. Front left to right UK Skills Academy Head of Funding Sue Taylor and CEO Gemma Beech at their onboarding session.