Skills Support for the Workforce

Gr. Birmingham & Solihull SMEs to benefit from £4m training fund

10th Jul 2019 Skills Support for the Workforce

Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in Cannock Chase, Lichfield, Tamworth & East Staffordshire are urged to take advantage of a £4 million skills training fund to upskill their workforce.

The training is delivered as part of a programme called Skills Support for the Workforce (SSW), which Serco’s Employment, Skills & Enterprise business is managing across the transitional area of Greater Birmingham and Solihull; Cannock Chase, Lichfield, Tamworth & East Staffordshire.

Under the 28-month programme which launched in April, Serco will work in partnership with the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBS LEP) to provide skills development that focuses on upskilling employees in key sectors as identified in the GBS LEP’s strategic economic plan;

  • Low carbon & environmental technologies and services
  • Advanced manufacturing & engineering
  • Life & health sciences
  • Business, professional & financial services
  • Digital & creative industries

The programme will also focus on sectors where there is significant job replacement demand or are key to local business needs:

  • Health & social care; particularly adult care
  • Transport & logistics
  • Retail; hospitality & tourism
  • Construction & infrastructure
  • Digital & tech
  • Food & drink
  • Emerging technology

Through SSW, eligible businesses can benefit from funded training, tailored to their specific needs. Training is flexible and businesses can select full qualifications or mix and match individual units that are directly relevant to their work. Previous SSW programme participants have benefited from increased employee confidence, motivation and productivity and improved employee loyalty and retention.

Business participants will each benefit from a bespoke Training Needs Analysis that identifies requirements for upskilling or skills gaps in their workforce. Training for participant businesses could cover subjects such as IT and digital skills, leadership and management or more vocationally relevant courses.

The SSW programme in Cannock Chase, Lichfield, Tamworth & East Staffordshire also offers training, careers guidance and support for individuals at risk of redundancy or those who have been made redundant within the last three months.

To deliver the programme, which is co-financed by the European Social Fund and the Education and Skills Funding Agency, Serco has partnered with expert training organisations to offer local businesses recognised accredited qualifications and bespoke training courses, aiming to enhance employees’ skills and increase the competitiveness of the businesses.

Rob Matts, Head of Skills Support for the Workforce at Serco, said:

“I am delighted that Serco has been selected by the Education and Skills Funding Agency to manage the SSW programme in Cannock Chase, Lichfield, Tamworth & East Staffordshire in partnership with the GBS LEP. We have already supported more than 29,000 learners through our SSW delivery across England with more than 7,000 businesses benefitting from this important service.

“I would urge businesses or, individuals that may be facing redundancy, to get in touch with our team and take advantage of the funded training on offer. We look forward to enabling many more businesses to take advantage of SSW training to upskill their staff and grow their businesses.”

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

> More details for businesses in Greater Birmingham and Solihull

Serco also delivers this programme in Black Country, Coventry & Warwickshire, Derby & Derbyshire, Dorset, Greater Cambridge & Greater Peterborough, Heart of the South West, Hertfordshire, Leicester & Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, Nottingham & Nottinghamshire, South East Midlands, Stoke on Trent & Staffordshire, Swindon & Wiltshire, West of England and Worcestershire.

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