Skills Support for the Workforce

Leicester and Leicestershire businesses to benefit from £1.62m skills training fund

7th Jun 2019 Skills Support for the Workforce

Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in Leicester and Leicestershire are urged to take advantage of a £1.62m 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 Leicester and Leicestershire. Under the 28-month programme which launched in April, Serco will work in partnership with Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP) to provide skills development that focuses on upskilling employees in key priority sectors as identified in the LLEP’s strategic economic plan;

  • Engineering & advanced manufacturing
  • Food & drink manufacturing
  • Textiles manufacturing
  • Logistics & distribution
  • Tourism & hospitality
  • Creative industries
  • Low carbon
  • Professional & financial services
  • Health & social care
  • Sports & physical activity

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 Leicester and Leicestershire also offers support and training 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 Leicester and Leicestershire in partnership with the LLEP. We have already supported more than 20,000 learners through our SSW delivery across England with more than 7000 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.”

Mary-Louise Harrison is Senior Projects Manager at the LLEP. She said:

"Leicester and Leicestershire's local economy is a hotbed of SME activity, with 97.9% of our businesses employing fewer than 50 people.  One of our key priorities at the LLEP is to support the growth of SMEs, and the SSW programme is a fantastic way to do that. By identifying key gaps in the workforce and providing the training to fill them, we can ensure that our businesses are prepared for the future.

"Another LLEP priority is to support people who may be looking for a change of career - whether because of redundancy or other reasons - to find a job that is right for them. It's vital for our region's economic prosperity that we continue to upskill individuals within our workforce, whatever stage of career development they're at.

“A great place for businesses to find out about the wide range of support, advice, training and funding available to help them is at the Business Gateway growth hub. This service makes it easy to identify what help can be accessed, much of which is free."

Businesses in Leicester and Leicestershire can find out more details and check eligibility here    

Back to all news