(left to right) Richard Mundon, Director of Strategy and Planning at Wrightington, WWL NHS Foundation Trust - Leader of Wigan Council, Councillor David Molyneux - Steve Igoe, Edge Hill University’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor - Anna Dawe, Wigan & Leigh College Principal
(left to right) Richard Mundon, Director of Strategy and Planning at Wrightington, WWL NHS Foundation Trust – Leader of Wigan Council, Councillor David Molyneux – Steve Igoe, Edge Hill University’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor – Anna Dawe, Wigan & Leigh College Principal

A new collaboration between Wigan Council, Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (WWL), Wigan and Leigh College and Edge Hill University will boost education, health and economic prospects for local communities.

The aim of the collaboration is to improve local opportunities to develop people’s skills, enhance their ability to gain employment in the future and increase the attractiveness of employment in areas such as health, social care and education in the Wigan Borough.

It is anticipated that by working together as partners, holistically, on a number of different projects, the organisations will together be able to provide more life chances and prospects for people locally, particularly those at school, college and university.

The type of education, health and economic projects under development include increasing the number of apprenticeships and work placements; increasing research and development activity; working with small and medium-sized businesses, identifying skills gaps and working collectively to bridge those gaps.

There are plans to provide new and different ways to collaborate and provide training, including skills labs which will be used for a variety of purposes for example, continuous professional development for nurses, research and development activity and developing understanding of analytics and business intelligence.

An agreement between the four organisations has been developed which outlines the scope of the partnership with regular updates as the exciting collaboration progresses.

Richard Mundon, WWL’s Director of Strategy and Planning said, “We are thrilled to be working more closely with our Council and our Education partners to make the Wigan Borough a healthier place to live, with improved opportunities for younger people to learn and gain employment locally”.

Steve Igoe, Edge Hill University’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor, said: “As one of the largest providers of teacher training, health and social care education in the North West and home to the new Medical School, Edge Hill has always been at the forefront of developing the next generation of professionals in these vital sectors. We’re delighted to be working with our Wigan partners to develop plans to improve prospects for people locally which will impact positively on the wider economy.”

Anna Dawe, Wigan & Leigh College Principal, said: “This partnership is all about creating opportunity and will maximise education and employment choices for borough residents. Working together we will be able to strengthen our local education and skills offer and deliver further and higher education differently. We can’t wait to get started!”  

Leader of Wigan Council, Councillor David Molyneux, said: “Earlier this year we launched our ambitious skills strategy for the borough, in collaboration with local partners. The aim of the strategy is to ensure that our residents have access to local learning opportunities that address the borough’s skill shortages and help residents embark on a meaningful career where there are plenty of employment prospects. In the context of a post-Covid-19 world, this strategy is more vital than ever as we and our residents face significant financial uncertainty.

“This partnership supports our strategy for the borough and our ambition to support people into skilled employment and really goes to show what we can achieve when we work together.”