1. Visit Preston
  2. Preston Markets

Business recruitment and training support

Looking for recruitment or training support? Find expert advice on recruiting staff, including apprentices, graduates and people with disabilities, plus upskilling your staff.

Whether you're looking for advice on recruitment, apprenticeships or training your employees, the following information offers local help and support to make it easier to find the right people and provide the right training for you and your company.

Lancashire Skills and Employment Hub

Lancashire Skills and Employment Hub offer skills and employment support including help upskilling your staff, free training needs analysis, subsidised/funded training, recruitment support to help you find the right people and comprehensive advice around taking on and developing apprentices.

They have also produced the Lancashire Employer Guide to Skills Support (LEGS) (PDF) [336KB] . This is a useful reference guide to the funded skills support projects available, so you can decide which projects are best suited to your business.   

Recruiting and employing graduates            

The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) has a free to use jobs portal to recruit students on a placement, graduate role or part time casual jobs basis. They also provide an online e-portfolio system 'Spark of Talent', which showcases some of the Universities freshest and most creative talent.

For details visit UCLan - recruit our students

Recruiting and employing people with disabilities

Lancashire County Council employment support services offer extensive advice for employing people with disabilities, including matching the right person to your vacancy, developing a unique support and advice package and providing training on a range of disability related topics.

For details visit Lancashire County Council - help recruiting and employing disabled people.


Apprenticeships are suitable for anyone over 16 and provide a valuable pathway to develop the right staff, your way. Whether you are recruiting new talent into the business or developing existing staff, apprenticeships enable you to grow your own talent, reduce staff turnover and give your business the skills it needs to succeed.

To find out how apprenticeships could work for you visit GOV.UK - employing an apprentice.

Shared Apprenticeship Scheme - Construction

The Shared Apprenticeship Scheme has been set up to help employers in the construction industry who want to support the development of skills while working on regional contracts, but are not in a position to offer a full term apprenticeship, and who wish to support training the future workforce. In Lancashire, for those interested in a career in construction there is a scheme run by Calico - Constructing the Future.  In partnership with the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB), Constructing the Future connects ambitious, talented and hard working apprentices with the perfect construction apprenticeship vacancy.  

Local apprentice support

UCLan's - Apprenticeship Matching Service offers a free specialist recruitment package for employers looking to take on a Degree Apprentice.

UCLan's - Lancashire Engaging Apprentices Programme (LEAP) - are you considering employing an apprentice?  LEAP provides fully funded individual support, training courses and coaching and mentoring for Apprentices and Mentors in Lancashire SMEs. Contact the team by email ContactLEAP@uclan.ac.uk or call 01772 895970. 

The Lancashire Work-Based Learning Executive Forum provides useful guidance on apprenticeships, funding, details of training providers and other work-based training opportunities.

Preston College - employers can support businesses with training, business courses and apprenticeships.

The University of Central Lancashire - degree apprenticeships can help you develop your workforce including a new range of Degree Apprenticeships.

Lancashire Skills and Employment Hub - employers apprenticeship toolkit provides an Employers' Apprenticeship Toolkit to help local businesses get to grips with the issues surrounding taking on and developing apprentices.

Young Apprenticeship Grant Update

To support the growth of apprenticeships, Lancashire County Council is offering grants of £3,000 per apprenticeship for eligible employers on a first come first served basis who support either a new recruit or an existing staff member under 25 to undertake an apprenticeship. Aimed at those employers who have not utilised apprenticeships in the past (or have not done so in the last two years). There are limited grants available. 

To find out more either register for the Apprenticeship Skills Pledge for impartial advice or email paul.hannant@lancashirelep.co.uk.

Training and skills

Training and upskilling your workforce is important for keeping skills fresh and up to date with the latest technologies and ways of working. It can also raise retention, boost morale and improve performance amongst staff.

Skills Bootcamps in Lancashire

Skills Bootcamps in Lancashire are intensive and flexible courses of up to 16 weeks, giving people the opportunity to gain in-demand sector specific skills with a guaranteed job interview upon completion. The latest and upcoming courses cover construction, defence, digital, creative and technology, green skills, healthcare, HGV and logistics. Fully-funded for individuals aged 19 and over living in Lancashire (some eligibility criteria). Employers can ease recruitment challenges by employing a Skills Bootcamp graduate.  For more information, please email the Skills Bootcamps team LancsSkillsHub@lancashirelep.co.uk  and they will match you to a suitable Skills Bootcamp training partner. Employers can also upskill their existing staff with just a modest contribution - 10% for SMEs and 30% for larger employers.

Government training for green jobs

The Government has announced almost 9,000 training courses will be run across England for heat pump and energy efficiency installers. Courses will be free or heavily subsidised and provide retraining opportunities for people already working in or looking to start roles in the green energy sector.  For details of local training providers visit GOV.UK - Home Decarbonisation Skills Training Competition: successful projects.

Lancashire Local Skills Improvement Plan (LSIP)

Lancashire's Local Skills Improvement Plan is part of the government's Skills Accelerator, which aims to reshape the technical skills system to better support the needs of the local labour market, businesses and the wider economy.  Businesses can have their say on local skills and recruitment needs, take part in surveys/focus groups and much more. You can also keep in touch with the free LSIP APP.

Local training and skills support

Lancashire Skills and Employment Hub - train an apprentice offers advice on skilling up your teams through apprenticeship funding which can be used for any age group to create the workforce you need.

UCLan - Upskilling Lancashire offers support for you and your staff to increase skills by identifying, designing and implementing tailored training programmes linked to the strategic needs of your business. The project will prepare the business to engage in the provision of a range of apprenticeships for current and future employees.

EnginE provides dedicated support to advanced engineering and manufacturing SMEs, through free skills planning expertise, taster sessions, masterclasses and skills champions, so that you can see the impact skills can have in future proofing the success and productivity of your business.

Lancashire Digital Skills Partnership offers a range of free online digital skills training on its website including iDEA - The Inspiring Digital Enterprise Award - an international programme that helps you develop digital, enterprise and employability skills for free.

Skills for Work - Preston - Lancashire Skills and Employment Hub have brought together information about support that can help you get a job and if you are employed there is help for you to learn new skills.