Chorley retailer boosts staff skills

31 March 2015

A Chorley-based retailer which specialises in outdoor clothing has bolstered its staff skills thanks to help from a £5.6m skills and training programme being delivered across the county.

Out of the City, based at Buckshaw Village, has received funding from Lancashire Skills Support for the Workforce (LSS) to enable one of its staff members to access customer service training.

20-year-old Lucy Stravinskas, who works at the firm’s head office in a customer service role, is currently undertaking a Level 2 NVQ in customer service. The training is being delivered by Runshaw College.

Almost half way into the programme, Lucy is currently ahead of her targets and is already realising the benefits. Lucy said: “What I’m learning is making me think more about my everyday actions when dealing with customers. I’m able to put little things into place and make slight changes to build on my existing skills.

“I think the course complements the Business Admin course I completed last year really well, they are a good combination and are really helping me to do well in my role here.”

Lucy aspires to progress within a retail management career and feels the NQV is giving her a good foundation for the profession.

Ann Bowers, customer services manager, put Lucy forward for the course to aid her professional development and to benefit the customers that Lucy deals with on a daily basis.

Ann said: “As a small business, training initiatives like this are key in ensuring we uphold our excellent standards. Lucy is applying her learning to everyday situations to the benefit of our customers and our wider team.

“We are able to deliver training in-house specific to the outdoor clothing / retail industry using our own specialist knowledge and resources, but being able to use external programmes like this for the more universal subject matters is a real benefit as it frees up internal resources and increases productivity. 

“We are highly appreciative of the Lancashire Skills Support funding which has allowed us to enrol Lucy on this programme sooner than we would have done without it, which is fast tracking her career path and helping our business to grow.”

Ann chose Runshaw Business Centre to deliver the training due to previous success with apprentices and an excellent working relationship with the team:  “We’ve worked with Runshaw Business Centre for over four years now and they have facilitated greatly in meeting our apprenticeship needs. The NVQ training has been of great value and delivered very well. We have found the team to be very proactive in notifying us of new courses or funding programmes available to us, which assists us greatly.”

LSS will support 3,817 employees aged 19 and over who are working in small or medium sized businesses and have a workforce of up to 250 employees. It will run until July 2015 – with places allocated to businesses on a first-come, first-served basis. The fund operates across the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership (LEP) area, which consists of Lancashire, Blackpool and Blackburn with Darwen local authorities.

Further information is also available on the dedicated website


For further information, contact:

Andrew Taylor or Simon Turner, Freshfield
01772 888400 / [email protected] / [email protected]

Stephen Axon, communications service, Lancashire County Council
01772 533 194 / [email protected]  

Notes to editors:

Lancashire Skills Support for the Workforce (LSS) is a £5.6m programme delivered by some of the county's leading training providers and managed by Lancashire County Council. LSS gives businesses in the Lancashire, Blackpool and Blackburn with Darwen local authority areas the opportunity to access free accredited workplace training.

The £5.6m funding has been awarded by the European Social Fund (ESF) and was commissioned on behalf of the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership by the Skills Funding Agency (SFA). LSS will support 3,817 employees aged 19 and over who are working in small or medium sized businesses with a workforce of up to 250 employees. It will run until July 2015 – with places allocated to businesses on a first-come first-served basis.

Training available through the scheme will be flexible to meet the needs of the business and will include a mix of basic and higher level skills, leadership and management while also offering technical, specialist qualifications.

LSS delivery partners currently comprises Accrington and Rossendale College, Age UK Lancashire, Blackburn College, Blackpool and the Fylde College, Burnley College, Joint Learning, Lancashire Adult Learning, Lancaster and Morecambe College, Myerscough College, Nelson and Colne College, Preston's College, West Lancashire College, and VIA Partnership

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