Up to £4 million available for business training in Cheshire
Provided by the Skills Support for the Workforce scheme, 700 employees in the region – across a range of sectors – have already benefited from fully funded training.
The training, which is funded by the European Social Fund, is specifically designed to help SMEs in Cheshire and Warrington upskill their workforce to fill the region’s skills gaps, in a range of areas including manufacturing, public administration, education, communications and health and transport.
The funding was made available to businesses through the Skills Support for the Workforce at the start of the year, with almost £3m remaining for businesses to apply for.
Ebrahim Dockrat, director of Calderdale College, the prime contractor delivering the project, said: “It is hugely encouraging to see what has been achieved in the first phase of this programme and that almost 700 people across the region have had the opportunity to develop their skills.
“To hear how businesses of all types have benefited, from food manufacturers to retailers, highlights not only the diverse business landscape of the region but also how much appetite there is from companies to invest in the skills of their staff to promote growth.
“As this training is funded with European money this is the last project of its kind, the funding is only available until July 2018 and so it’s a case of benefiting whilst businesses still can.”
Not only can training help increase productivity and the services that businesses can offer, it also motivates and engages the workforce and, as a result, improves employee retention.
Research has found that employees that undertake non-compulsory, work-related training do their jobs better and are more satisfied with their work. However, a lack of time and potential costs act as a barrier to accessing training. The Skills Support for the Workforce project is designed to tackle these challenges.
The project is co-financed by the European Union’s European Social Fund and the Education and Skills Funding Agency and is available for SMEs seeking non-compulsory work-based training to support their business growth plan.
The training is for businesses based in the Local Enterprise Partnership area, employing fewer than 250 people with an annual turnover of less than £50m. For more information visit cheshirewarrington.fundingunit.org.uk or call 08456443753.