Skills Support for the Workforce

Small businesses in Dorset urged to take advantage of £3m free training pot to develop employees’ skills

4th Jul 2017 Skills Support for the Workforce

Small and medium sized enterprises across Dorset are being urged to take advantage of £3m of free skills training for their workforce before the deadline to utilise the funds in July 2018.

The training is available as part of a programme named Skills Support for the Workforce (SSW), which Serco’s Employment, Skills & Enterprise business has been selected to manage across Dorset and which is co-funded by the European Social Fund and the Education and Skills Funding Agency.

The programme involves Serco working in partnership with Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership to address skills gaps and offer training opportunities free of charge to support growth across the local economy. Serco has partnered with expert training providers to offer local businesses a range of fully-funded accredited qualifications and bespoke training courses aimed at enhancing employees’ skills and increasing the competitiveness of local businesses.
Businesses can select full qualifications or mix and match individual units that are directly relevant to their work. The courses range from a few hours’ training, to units of NVQ or other qualifications. Previous programme participants have benefited from increased employee confidence, motivation and productivity and improved employee loyalty and retention.

The programme will focus on supporting businesses in the following key priority sectors:

  • Advanced Engineering & Manufacturing (Aerospace, Defence & Marine technologies)
  • Agri-tech, Food & Drink
  • Creative Industries (Silicon South)
  • Environmental Goods & Services
  • Financial Services
  • Accommodation & Food Services
  • Manufacturing
  • Public Administration, Education & Health
  • Wholesale, Retail, Motor Trades

Gareth Moss, Serco’s Director for Employment, Skills and Enterprise, said:
“Developing employees’ skills is a vital part of building a successful business. We’d urge local employers to take advantage of this brilliant opportunity to strengthen the skills of their workforce through training which is not only fully-funded, but also designed to meet their specific needs.”

Tony Nelson, Skills Policy Manager at Dorset LEP, said: "Investing in your people raises productivity and improves the customer experience. I strongly encourage SMEs in our key sectors to take advantage of this training opportunity."

Businesses can contact us for more details and to find out if they are eligible for funded training through Skills Support for the Workforce.

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