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Welcome to the latest news and updates from the Cumbria Chamber of Commerce, your hub for business insights, events, and developments in the Cumbria region.

LSIP findings inform Carlisle College’s direction

Carlisle College is one of Cumbria’s leading FE colleges and a key local provider of technical education. We visited the college last week for a tour and to find out how they have been using findings from our Local Skills Improvement Plan (LSIP) to inform exciting curriculum developments…
LSIP findings inform Carlisle College’s direction

The first stop on our tour was the cookery department where students were busy preparing chicken ballotine, under the instruction of teacher and former executive chef for Gordon Ramsay, Scott Price. The students were engaged in their work, with one remarking that since being on the course he’s been able to run the kitchen in his family’s bistro by himself! In addition to classroom instruction, students also get hands-on experience in the college’s own fine-dining restaurant, ‘Oyster’, which opens to the public on specific dates throughout the year.

The college has big plans to develop its cookery and hospitality training to meet skills shortages identified by the LSIP. For example, a new visitor economy course is set to launch soon, as well as qualifications in Food Hygiene and the Personal Licence Holder Award. There are also plans to introduce a course on wine!

The construction department was the next stop on our tour where we met students studying trades including joinery, plastering, painting and decorating, and bricklaying. To meet the high demand for training in these areas, as identified by the LSIP, the college is about to start work on an extension to its bricklaying and plastering facilities to accommodate more students. September 2023 will also see the introduction of a new T-Level Qualification in Design, Surveying and Planning for Construction, during which students will undertake a 45-day placement in industry.

Addressing skills shortages in engineering and manufacturing is another key area of focus for the college. The tour then took us to the engineering department where students develop skills in computer aided design (CAD), welding and metalwork. The department is home to the college’s Advanced Manufacturing Centre complete with a CNC machine and 3D printer, which will soon be used by students to build prototypes of their work.

In response to the need for more provision of skills relating to the green economy, as highlighted by the LSIP, Carlisle College is also developing courses in solar installation, air-source heat pump maintenance, as well as electric vehicle (EV) maintenance. Preparations are currently being made for the delivery of a new EV training rig to be located in the motor vehicle department.

Our final stop on the tour was the college’s Skills Centre where business studies classes are held covering a range of disciplines including finance, digital marketing, HR, and business management. As part of their support for businesses, the college offers its Skills Centre to local businesses to use free of charge. They also offer advice on apprenticeships and training need analyses.

Sarah McGrath, Principal of Carlisle College said: “We are pleased to have worked with the Chamber to support their development of the LSIP and are really excited about the level of insight it will provide.  This will help us to ensure that the programmes we develop and deliver are going to meet local needs and address skills gaps across Cumbria.  It also helps us to target resources to ensure that developments within our estate and resources are future proof and will support the development of future employability skills of all our learners.”

Our thanks to Carlisle College for a great insight into their work providing training to meet the growing needs of Cumbria’s economy.


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