Skills Support for the Workforce

Skills Support for the Workforce in D2N2 (Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham & Nottinghamshire)

Funded training courses to help your business grow

The Skills Support for the Workforce programme (SSW) helps support small & medium businesses in Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham & Nottinghamshire to upskill their employees with training courses & qualifications to help their business grow and boost the local economy.

We can work with you to develop a bespoke training programme relevant to your business needs, and as the SSW programme is co-financed by the European Social Fund (ESF) and the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA), a wide range of training can be accessed at no cost* to your business.  *subject to eligibility

We have a network of expert training providers who can deliver 100s of fully funded and accredited training courses covering a range of subjects such as: IT & Digital Skills, Leadership and Management, Engineering, Manufacturing, Construction, Health and Social care, Customer Service, Business Administration, and many more.

Get in touch

If you would like to talk to us about the training on offer and how it might be able to support your business and employees you can contact our Partnership Coordinator for the D2N2 region, Howard Cordingley.

Howard will have a conversation with you about your business training needs and how the programme can help your business to grow.

Howard also covers Leicester & Leicestershire and Greater Cambridge and Greater Peterborough

What’s on offer?

  • A training needs analysis for your business, identifying the skills your team need to support your business goals
  • On-the-job vocational training to meet individual and business needs including taught learning, workplace assessment, distance learning and online learning
  • Recognised accredited qualifications and training courses to support employees to upskill or even learn new skills
  • Progression pathways for your employees enabling them to take on more responsibilities and move up in your organisation, or progress onto higher level qualifications and apprenticeships

How could you benefit?

  • A more efficient business with improved profitability
  • A highly skilled and engaged workforce with up-to-date skills
  • Improved staff morale and motivation, therefore reducing staff turnover
  • Become an ‘Employer of Choice’ which will improve your business’ image and attract new talent
  • Competitive advantage in your marketplace and improved chances of winning new business

More information 

Serco delivers the SSW programme in partnership with The Local Enterprise Partnership for Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire. The LEP have identified the following key sectors for skills support in Derby and Derbyshire: 

  • Transport Equipment Manufacturing 
  • Life Sciences 
  • Food & Drink Manufacturing 
  • Visitor Economy 
  • Low Carbon 
  • Transport & Logistics 
  • Creative & Digital Industries
  • Construction.

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


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

Skills Support for Redundancy 

We also offer support to business owners facing the prospect of making hard decisions about redundancy, and to individuals who have recently been made redundant through the Skills Support for Redundancy programme.

Contact the team for more information.

Our Training Providers

HIT Training Ltd

HIT Training is the leading specialist training and apprenticeship provider in the UK’s hospitality and catering industry
At HIT Training we know the positive impact of work-based apprenticeships for employers, employees and the wider economy. This investment in your people and their skills makes your business more efficient and profitable, and ensures your people improve their life chances.
HIT Training delivers Apprenticeships from Level 2 to Level 5 in Hospitality, Management and Adult Care through over 400 skilled training staff operating from 35 offices countrywide giving us a keen local knowledge. We train through remote onsite and classroom based depending on the qualification.
Some of our accreditations include:

  • People 1st Gold Accredited Training Provider
  • Grade Good by OFSTED 2017
  • 93% Employer Satisfaction

At HIT Training we know the positive impact of work-based apprenticeships for employers, employees and the wider economy. This investment in your people and their skills makes your business more efficient and profitable, and ensures your people improve their life chances.
Helping people become the best they can be makes good business sense.

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.

Siamo Training (Qommunicate Ltd)

Qommunicate is an established workforce development company specialising in providing a fully tailored learner journey for all individuals, starting at pre-employment training, developing into fully skilled and sustainable workforce.

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

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.


AG&I are a nonprofit training organisation based on the Lincolnshire / Nottinghamshire borders with over 20 years combined experience in Apprenticeship and accredited training provision.

AG&I have a proven track record in providing effective and responsive training and development from Level 1 through to Level 5 on either a 1-to-1 or a group basis depending on the needs of the individual learner and the organisation.

AG&I provide effective Teaching, Learning and Assessment in a range of different sectors including:

  • Education and Training
  • Leadership and Management
  • Business Administration, Retail
  • Customer Service, Information
  • Advice and Guidance
  • Health and Social Car
  • Employability
  • Functional skills: English, Maths and Information Communication Technology.

AG&I provides bespoke training in response to the specific needs and requirements of the organisation that we are supporting, and we look to build long-standing and fulfilling relationships with all of our customers.

If you have any questions or would like additional information then please contact us on 01529 414626 or visit our website

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.

Logistica Training

Logistica Training Limited was set up to specialise in delivering Health and Social qualifications to SMEs. The directors, managers, and all staff have considerable expertise in this field and saw an opportunity to deliver high quality training in a niche market where, at the time, there were considerable gaps in the market place.​

Logistica deliver high quality training in a manner that adds value to the employer, enthuses and motivates the learner and our staff feel valued and respected. ​

We believe that with our continued repeat business from employers, high achievement rates, excellent employer and learner feedback and low staff turnover, we have gone a long way towards achieving our goals. 

Pilot IMS

Pilot IMS is a well-established and highly respected national training provider with many years of experience delivering Skills, Welfare, Justice and Youth programmes for public and private partners. We passionately believe in helping business to bring workplace skills to life and in developing individuals from all backgrounds to make the most of the opportunities available to them.

  • Ofsted - awarded 'Good' 2020 
  • Matrix Standard since 2011

Our experienced, highly qualified, professional and engaging team has a strong reputation, that is evidenced through exceptional feedback from individuals, employers and commissioners. Pilots fantastic performance is achieved through staff dedication, commitment and loyalty.

We build long lasting and meaningful business relationships through the provision of high impact, flexible training & recruitment programmes, specialising in a number of priority sectors including, Logistic, Warehousing, Manufacturing, Engineering and Business Management.


KTL is an independent training provider established 23 years supporting the much needed essential skills training to the apparel and textile manufacturing industry.  KTL has strong links with textile and apparel manufacturers mainly across the East Midlands including workshops within HMP Service.

As a training provider we are rigorously audited and monitored by funding and awarding bodies to ensure delivery and processes meet the necessary expected high quality standards.

Our kite marks include:

  • Matrix Standard  
  • ABC Awards ‘Showcase Centre of Excellence’ for Fashion and Textiles
  • Ofsted inspected as a sub-contractor

All our Fashion and Textiles qualifications are accredited by SEG Group - ABC Awards.

KTL delivers single qualifications in sewn products and textile production to employed and unemployed individuals.  Our delivery has included:

  • Supporting long term unemployed vulnerable groups at our studio in Derby by helping to break down barriers which impede their ability to move closer towards work or further education.  Our Studio in Derby is a true reflection of great partnership arrangements with local referral organisations. 
  • Working within several Prisons across the East Midlands offering the opportunity for offenders to achieve an accredited qualification mapped to their work in sewn products and textile production. 
  • Supporting textile and apparel manufacturing companies across the East Midlands delivering qualifications to employees.  This essential training enhances the existing skills and knowledge and can support audit requirements.

Acacia Training

Acacia Training was established in 2000 to provide training for employers & their employees in health & social care, early years & play work.

The company operates from its head office in Trentham, Staffordshire and has delivery sites in Essex, Manchester, Stoke-on-Trent, Newcastle, Crewe, Chesterfield and London.

Acacia Training is a Grade 2 Ofsted provider, disability confident leader and kickstart gateway provider and were winners of the best health and social care training provider 2020.


GBS was originally founded as an IT Consultancy firm in 2010, by CEO Steven Guard. When his wife Penny joined the business in 2016, they used her knowledge and expertise from over 20+ years in the apprenticeship sector to transform the business into a leading Digital Skills and Leadership & Management specialist training provider.

Located in the heart of Chesterfield, GBS deliver apprenticeship, European Social Fund (ESF) and commercial training from the academy and employer workplaces, working with local businesses to identify their training needs and upskill their workforce. Alongside trying to boost the local economy, GBS offer complimentary recruitment services to help lower unemployment levels in Chesterfield and surrounding areas.

GBS clients range from SMEs to large national employers and include public and private sector organisations. Training offered by GBS includes L2 – L4 Digital and IT Skills and Leadership and Management (including professional services) L3 – L5.

Our trainers are industry experts eager to share their knowledge and best practice with the workforce of the future, and their aim is to equip all of their learners with the skills they need to succeed in their chosen career path.

Right Track

Right Track have been delivering training and support since 2009, and focus our services across Nottingham and Derby, we are community based and believe strongly in supporting people to improve their opportunities.

We have highly qualified and experienced tutors who have worked in their field of expertise which include:

  • Mental Health
  • Team Leading
  • Warehousing
  • Hospitality & Catering
  • Business Admin
  • Customer Service

We are Matrix Accredited and Disability Confident.

What do our employers say:

I am so impressed by RTSE. They have made the online learning for my staff easy to pick up and they enjoy it. I think it’s given them new motivation especially the team leaders, and I think it’s also made them think more clearly about how they lead staff. I have no doubt the impact will be felt especially in productivity and performance overall. I’d recommend SSW to any employer.

We can develop our programmes alongside you so that they have direct impact within your business and enable you to upskill and future proof your workforce.