Skills Support for the Workforce

Skills Support for the Workforce in Black Country

Funded training courses to help your business progress

Skills Support for the Workforce (SSW) is a programme developed to upskill employees within small and medium-sized businesses in Black Country. We provide recognised accredited qualifications and bespoke training courses to enhance your employees’ skills, increase the competitiveness of your business and boost the local economy. SSW is co-financed by the Education and Skills Funding Agency and the European Social Fund.

Skills Support for the Workforce is all about progress. We can help you progress your career, education and business.

Make an enquiry

What’s on offer?

  • A training needs analysis for your business, identifying the skills you need to support your business ambitions
  • Flexible training – pick full qualifications or mix and match individual units to suit your business
  • On-the-job vocational training to meet individual and business needs including taught learning, workplace assessment, distance learning and online learning
  • Learning pathways for your employees enabling them to progress within your organisation onto higher level qualifications or apprenticeships
  • Recognised accredited qualifications and training courses to enhance your employees’ skills

Distance and online learning now available in the following areas*:

  • Digital and IT
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Health and Social Care
  • Manufacturing and Warehousing
  • Leadership and Management
  • Business
  • Construction
  • Customer Service
  • Information, Advice and Guidance

*subject to availability

Further courses are also available. Please contact us to find out more. 

How could you benefit?

  • A more efficient business with improved profitability
  • A highly skilled workforce delivering quality outputs for your customers and improving business performance
  • Improved staff satisfaction and motivation, reducing staff turnover
  • A wider appeal to new recruits
  • Competitive advantage in your marketplace and improved chance of winning new business

SSW is co-financed by the Education and Skills Funding Agency and the European Social Fund. This means you can access a wide range of training at no cost* to your business. *subject to eligibility

More information 

Serco delivers the SSW programme in partnership with the Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP). The LEP have identified the following key sectors for skills support in the area: 

  • Retail sector
  • Public Sector
  • Business Services
  • Health and Advanced Manufacturing
  • Environmental technologies and Transport.

Other sectors are also eligible to access funded training. Please see below for eligibility criteria.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply for anyone accessing support through Skills Support for the Workforce:

  • The learner has to be employed by the organisation (or self-employed).
  • The learner has to be eligible to work in the UK – evidence will be required
  • The learner must be aged 16+ (no upper age restriction)
  • The training has to be delivered within the LEP region and by one of the contracted SSW Training Providers

Our Training Providers

Gateway Training Solutions

Gateway Training Solutions has been in operation since January 2008, initially setup to help provide training, advice and guidance to SME’s. Since then we have delivered over 10,000 qualifications nationwide, engaging with over 900 employers across 30 different cities.
 
We believe in working with employers and learners to ensure that both parties gain from the learning experience. Gateway has achieved its growth by putting learner at the heart of the business, by focusing on developing our learners we are able to help them achieve their qualifications.
 
We deliver Apprenticeships, Traineeships, Pre-employment training, Standalone QCF’s, Functional Skills as well as ESF provision.
 
We have worked with a number of mainstream colleges including Walsall College, Stoke on Trent College, Calderdale as well as a number of consortiums and have spent over £10m worth of Train to Gain, ASB, ALR and ESF funding during this period.
 
Our specialist sectors include Transport & Logistics, Warehousing & Storage, Hospitality & Catering, Retail, Tourism, Education & Business and Financial Services.

We base our delivery around the needs of employers and Learners which includes classroom and work based delivery. We schedule delivery of training around the working schedules of learners providing minimum disruption to work.

Training Event Safety Solutions Ltd (TESS)

The Tess Group are a learning and development provider established in 2009; delivering qualifications including Apprenticeships, Diplomas, Traineeships, Adult Learner Loans and ESF – SSW funded training. Since the moment we started we have been working on changing the way everyone finds their future & delivering inspirational learning that has a measurable impact on people’s lives.

We are rated Ofsted Grade 2 February 2017, Matrix Accredited and an Investors In People Gold Employer. We have won several awards in recent years including Business Of The Year 2015, Enterprising Organisation 2016, Apprenticeship Provider 2016 (Apprenticeship Awards). We were a finalist at the Investors In People Gold Employer awards.
Our vocational delivery range include Customer Service, Team Leading, Management, Sales, Business Administration & Recruitment. We provide learning that is needed to support learners or businesses to their steps.

We are able to bespoke programmes specific to the needs of business, delivering a blend of workshop training sessions, one on one coaching sessions or remote training.

Geason Training

Flexible progressive learning from Geason Training

We are a leading construction training organisation with training centres throughout the UK and pride ourselves in the design and delivery of apprenticeship programmes from Level 2 through to Degree level. These are provided in the workplace and tailored to suit our clients' individual needs.

Our approach is to work in total partnership with the employer, and in doing so we become an extension to your business by providing you with an all-inclusive training and development solution. Our organisation wide training needs analysis will identify and map existing and potential new job roles across all levels to relevant apprenticeships.

We will manage your funding options through our free dedicated Apprenticeship and CITB Levy consultation and support service for employers, enabling you to maximise the return on investment from the Levy. As we keep our ear to the ground when it comes to changes in Government funding we are able to regularly communicate government directives in an accessible way.

PTP Training Ltd

Performance Through People offer a variety of apprenticeships for people of all ages across the Midlands. We deliver apprenticeships at levels 2, 3, 4 and 5 and cover a range of sectors including in Accounting, Business Administration, Customer Service, Dental Nursing, Early Years Care, Health and Social Care, IT, Management and Team Leading, Retail, Hospitality, Warehouse and Logistics, Manufacturing, Engineering, Sales and Travel Services.


All apprentices are assigned one of our highly qualified training advisers who will support them through visits to the workplace and arrange for them to complete classroom sessions or workshops if these are required as part of the apprenticeship. They will also support with maths and English functional skills as necessary. Where classroom session and workshops are required these will take place at one of our training centres in Birmingham, Walsall, Wolverhampton, Cannock and Newcastle-under-Lyme. Our Walsall centre includes a purpose built engineering training centre.


We offer clear progression routes through apprenticeships and can continue to support learners as they progress to higher level qualifications and more senior job roles.


We are rated Good by Ofsted and have Investors in People and Matrix accreditations.

The Construction Skills People (CSP) Ltd

Construction skills People is the largest provider to the UK’s construction sector, established in 2008, we deliver a wide range of vocational qualifications and commercial training courses specifically for the construction sector. Our in-depth industry knowledge allows us to advise our clients through the complex minefield of Health & Safety legislation and regulation. We are the UK's leading provider of construction-related work-based qualifications and offer a broad range of NVQs that help our clients ensure they are CSCS and CPCS compliant.

We enjoy working with over 75% of the UK’s top 100 construction companies as listed by the industry’s Construction News magazine. We look to foster robust relationships with our clients, built on our concept of putting our clients’ needs first. As you would expect from an industry-leading training provider, we practice what we preach, and our staff's Continual Professional Development is an ongoing process that ensures our staff have the knowledge and expertise to offer industry the correct advice.

Vocational delivery rangeAll qualifications in construction including Civil Engineer, Construction Plant, House Building, Off-Site Manufacturing, Infrastructure, Utilities, Environmental and major projects. All of CSP’s qualifications are delivered on site to reduces disruption and employee downtime.

Accreditations - Matrix accredited, Disability Confident, ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO 18001

WISE Ability

Here at WISE Ability our vision is to enrich the communities we serve and empower people through employment.

We provide a wide range of services covering skills and training, employment, offender rehabilitation and mental health across the UK and if you would like to find out more call our dedicated team on:

Call :0300 303 3777  |  Email: info@wiseability.co.uk

Since our launch in 2009 at the heart of everything we do here at the charity are our customers and we’re proud to have been able to support thousands of people over the last decade. We always put our customers first to ensure that every individual enjoys a positive and beneficial #WeAreWise experience.

We believe it’s essential that during your time with us you feel welcome, respected, safe and supported. We will listen and provide you with the quality information, advice and guidance to enable you to make the right choices.

We will also ensure that we make our services easy for you to use, while also providing you with a positive and inspiring place to learn and develop.

We want you to be successful in whatever you choice to do and we will empower you to achieve your individual goals and celebrate your success together.

WISE Ability has been working very closely with companies such as Serco over the years to deliver programmes and services. As well as working with some key organisations within the sector, we have a variety of important partnerships with government agencies, local enterprise partnerships, local authorities, community services, and support groups etc. without which we would not be able to achieve our mission.

Protocol Consultancy Services (Transworld Publications Services Ltd)

Established as a Training Provider in 1996, protocol is currently an approved Work Based Training Provider for the West Midlands. (PCS is part of the Protocol Group of Companies and is a trading name of Transworld Publications Services Ltd). Work undertaken is mainly in the Midlands area, through government funding although we are prepared to travel anywhere in the UK should it be necessary for the delivery of Skills Support for the Workforce, Apprenticeships and Advanced Apprenticeships. We also undertake Consultancy work in management and skills training. We have developed our own virtual learning environment that allows remote access.

We have an established track record of delivering SSW across local LEP areas offering SMEs various training  options. Our breadth of experience and expertise enables us to provide focused consultancy and really add value to your business in a variety of contexts. With a blended learning option, tailored to employer requirements, we can deliver both clasroom-led and virtual learning. 

Protocol holds the followng accreditation:

  • City & Guilds, ILM & EDI, BCS, ECDL approved examination centre.
  •  Achived the IIP award and was re-accredited in November 2017.
  •  Awarded Grade 1 Outstanding by Ofsted in November 2006.
  •  Has won 4 Medals of Excellence and a highly commended award from City & Guilds.
  •  Beacon Status
  •  Matrix re-accredited in 2018
  •  Achieved Training Quality Standard full accreditation
  •  Runner up in the Birmingham Training Provider of the year 2019 – Ladder for Greater Birmingham Awards

 

Essential Site Skills (ESS)

Essential Site Skills Ltd (ESS) are an Award Winning, UK leading Training Provider founded in 2013. We specialise in nationwide training and support within the Construction sector but can also deliver a wide range of accredited and non-accredited training across various employment sectors including Health and Social Care, Business Services and Retail, ranging from Level 1 to Level 7 qualifications, as well as delivering bespoke training courses - we adapt the service to suit the needs of the employer.

Our relationships with employers and learners have been key to our success, working with them to identify and fill skills gaps with a focus on individual progression routes and supporting company growth aspirations. We also have an employability division that focuses on supporting at risk, or recently redundant individuals, offering a wide range of bespoke training options and signposting them to our expansive employer network, identifying employment opportunities.

As an organisation, we strive to make a positive difference to the safety, welfare and overall competency of individuals in a high-risk industry, as we believe everyone has the right to go to work and return home safely.

Pathway Group

Pathway Group is a leading Regional Skills Provider with a vision of Changing Lives Through Skills and Work. 

As an ESFA prime provider, we are proud of having been rated as ‘Good’ by Ofsted, in 2016. We also hold quality standards, such as ISO9001, and Matrix; and have a track-record of investing in our workforce- as accredited by the Investors in People Silver Standard. For the past 15 years, we have been at the forefront of supporting individuals through their journey into and during employment, delivering qualifications tailored to job outcomes, linked to employers.

We exist to encourage and advance employment opportunities by matching the needs of business, individuals and communities. We do this by having a relentless focus to add value, delivering positive outcomes and ensuring that we put our relationship first, leading us to be your partner of choice. We provide a broad range of skills development programmes from a training room to the workplace, helping people to qualify and develop skills for employment and their career. We have a passion in providing our learners with career opportunities through the delivery of traineeships and adult education programmes through to employability and other youth initiatives.

Based just outside Birmingham City Centre, our highly skilled team of employees are on hand to guide partners, employers, learners and parents through the various options there are to gaining qualifications, experience in the workplace, and employment.

Specialists in workforce development, we are at the forefront of supporting levy paying employers though the change in landscape of apprenticeship delivery and we understand the importance of developing and maintaining relationships that last.

PTS Training Academy

PTS Training Academy has been in operation since 2012, our founders started their journey towards forming learning opportunities national for everyone. The owners had a background of the rail sector and when working within a rail industry they identified a shortfall in skilled workers due to the lack of suitable training available for individuals from all backgrounds. From origins in Rail Engineering, we have expanded our specialisms to include Logistics, Leadership and Management, Health and Social Care, Protective Services and Teaching.

Personal Track Safety, now known as PTS Training Academy, operates nationally with programmes that include apprenticeships, traineeships and short courses. All programmes delivered are done so with consistence, precision, purpose and passion.

PTS are Matrix Accredited and an Investors in People Employer. Last year PTS was awarded Northamptonshire Business Award (Apprentice of the year 2019). This is our first main award and we are highly proud to have received this.
At the heart of our ethos is a focus on our learners. We understand that every business and learner is unique therefore, we bespoke training specifically to meet the needs of the individual and their employer. PTS works hard to ensure that everyone benefits from quality training, delivered at the highest possible standard.

Business Development Midlands (BDM)

BDM is a fast growing, quality driven organisation dedicated to providing our customers with best value training and business growth services.

We pride ourselves in working closely with large and small businesses to develop flexible training courses and apprenticeship programmes that truly reflect on actual business needs and demonstrate actual measurable impact.

Business Development Midlands have been members of the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM), the UKs foremost Management and Leadership awarding body, for the past 12 years. This partnership, and our direct claims status, allows us to develop credible, flexible and business specific training programmes.

Some examples of the courses we offer include:

  • Management
  • Sales
  • Team Leading
  • Customer Service
  • Coaching
  • Lean Management

All courses we offer can be customised to suit the companies needs and when necessary can be delivered at one of our venues or in house (dependent on numbers).

B2W Group

The B2W Group provide professional training and coaching services to suit a range of employer and learner needs. Founded in 2012, The B2W Group has trained and supported tens of thousands of people throughout the UK into employment and provided up-skill to those already in work.

The B2W Group provide pre-employment, distance learning and apprenticeship programmes designed to make it easy and convenient for learners to upskill in key areas. Our distance learning courses are extremely flexible and allow learners to work at their own pace, with support from their own distance learning tutor /assessor to access and progress through the online resources when and where convenient.

The B2W Group work across key industry sectors to provide qualifying businesses with free level 2 certificated qualifications. 

Our distance learning course topics are relevant to specific industry sectors, such as health and social care, digital and professional services.

Our services are designed to provide medium and long term improvements to both individual learners and businesses. We have a wide ranging and robust network of partners and our own in-house progression teams who can facilitate further training and enhanced learning which includes Level 3 distance learning options.

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How We Use Your Personal Information – This privacy notice is issued by the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA), on behalf of the Secretary of State for the Department of Education (DfE). It is to inform learners how their personal information will be used by the DfE, the ESFA (an executive agency of the DfE) and any successor bodies to these organisations. For the purposes of the relevant data protection legislation, the DfE is the data controller for personal data processed by the ESFA. Your personal information is used by the DfE to exercise its functions and to meet its statutory responsibilities, including under the Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Act 2009 and to create and maintain a unique learner number (ULN) and a personal learning record (PLR). Your information will be securely destroyed after it is no longer required for these purposes. Your information may be shared with third parties for education, training, employment and well-being related purposes, including for research. This will only take place where the law allows it and the sharing is in compliance with the data protection legislation.The English European Social Fund (ESF) Managing Authority (or agents acting on its behalf) may contact you in order for them to carry out research and evaluation to inform the effectiveness of training. Further information about use of and access to your personal data, and details of organisations with whom we regularly share data are available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/esfa-privacy-notice