Skills Support for the Workforce

Solent small and medium sized businesses can benefit from £1.75million in funded training for employees

13th Jan 2022 Skills Support for the Workforce

Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) across Solent are being urged to take advantage of £1.75m of free skills training and support for their workforce available as part of a new programme.

Serco’s Employment, Skills & Enterprise business has been selected by the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) to manage the programme named Skills Support for the Workforce programme (SSW). The key sectors identified as priority for skills support, including those adversely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, are:

  • Hospitality
  • Tourism
  • Retail
  • Transport
  • Marine and Maritime
  • Engineering Advanced Manufacturing
  • Technology
  • Aerospace and Defence
  • Manufacturing
  • Construction
  • Life Sciences
  • Health
  • Digital & Information Economy
  • Digital & Creative Industries
  • Clean Green Tech

The programme, co-financed by the European Social Fund and the Education and Skills Funding Agency, aims to support growth across all sectors of the region’s economy by providing

businesses, entirely free of charge, with:

  • Recognised accredited qualifications and bespoke training courses aimed at enhancing employees’ skills and helping them to develop and contribute to business growth.
  • Delivery through a network of expert local training providers.
  • Support to enable employers to take advantage of training opportunities that work for each business.

Eligible businesses can benefit from tailored training that can take place at the employees’ workplace or online (depending on the qualification). These can include technical skills training and higher-level skills such as Leadership and Management. Previous programme participants have benefited from increased employee confidence, motivation and productivity and improved employee loyalty and retention

Rob Matts, Serco’s Head of Skills, said:

“We have shaped this programme to support Solent LEP’s key sectors, including those adversely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, namely, Hospitality, Tourism, Retail, Transport, Manufacturing and Construction. Developing employees’ skills is a vital part of enabling a business to thrive so I urge local employers to take advantage of this fantastic opportunity to strengthen the skills of their workforce through training, which is not only fully funded, but also designed to meet their specific needs in respect to current challenges.”

Rachael Randall, the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership Board lead for Skills, said:

"Helping people make sure they have the right skills to progress their careers at the same time as ensuring businesses have the skills available to build back better after the pandemic has never been more important.

"Training and skills are critical to our region's future prosperity, and, as we set out on the path to economic recovery, this is an opportunity for businesses in the Solent region to move forward, grow and maintain their competitiveness in the future."

For more information, please email

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