Skills Support for the Workforce

Skills Support for the Workforce in Dorset

Fully funded training courses to help your business grow

Skills Support for the Workforce (SSW) is a programme developed to upskill employees within small and medium-sized businesses in Dorset. 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.

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Our skills advisers will work with you to develop a bespoke training programme relevant to your needs, and because this programme is co-funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) and the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA), you can support your workforce at no extra cost to your business.


Benefits for your employees and business

  • Training is tailored to the specific needs of your business
  • Can be more cost-effective than hiring skilled employees
  • Increases employee confidence, motivation and productivity
  • Improves employee loyalty and retention by making them feel valued
  • Fully-flexible training; pick full qualifications or mix and match individual units to suit your business
  • On-the-job vocational training to meet individual needs; including taught learning, workplace assessment, distance learning and online learning.
  • Fully funded training – no cost to your business or employees

Further information

The fully funded training is available for eligible businesses in the following priority sectors:

  1. Advanced Engineering & Manufacturing (Aerospace, Defence & Marine technologies)
  2. Agri-tech, Food & Drink
  3. Creative Industries (Silicon South)
  4. Environmental Goods & Services
  5. Financial Services
  6. Accommodation & Food Services
  7. Manufacturing
  8. Public Administration, Education & Health
  9. Wholesale, Retail, Motor Trades

Employees will benefit from a wide variety of training courses like leadership and management, technical skills training and higher level skills relevant to your business. Completing the training can help your employees continue to higher level qualifications, take on more responsibility, and progress in their careers.



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


  • The initial engagement is carried out with the employer (as opposed to individual learner – unless they are self-employed)
  • 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 17+ (no upper age restriction)
  • The training has to be delivered within the LEP region and by one of the contracted SSW Training Providers
  • We are focussing on SME’s in Dorset (less than 250 employees), but can consider larger organisation on a case by case basis

Make an enquiry

Find out if you are eligible for SSW and apply for fully funded training

Make an enquiry

Service providers in Dorset

Aspire Training Team

Founded by Cheryl Hadland, who also founded Tops Day Nurseries, Cheryl has been working in the adult training sector since 1980 and in the childcare sector since 1990.

Cheryl is totally dedicated to enabling and supporting people who work in the ‘caring’ sector. Having developed a great team of experienced, knowledgeable and qualified assessors and tutors to train and lead the qualifications and training on offer to you.

Kelly Russell is now the director for Aspire Training Team and together the team are proud of their achievements; The ‘Investors in People’ recognition as well as the Beacon Award for Training Excellence, Outstanding OFSTED grade, Matrix Standard and top grades from external inspectors from City & Guilds, Cache and Pearson’s. Working closely with each employer as well as individual apprentices to ensure everyone achieves the goals each ‘aspire’ to.

Aspire continue to progress with their own training and development. Many of the staff started years ago as apprentices or unqualified nursery staff themselves, and have experienced first-hand the challenges of working, raising a family and training in order to achieve their goals.

Whether you are seeking an apprenticeship or other staff qualification, the Beacon award-winning Aspire Training Team gain results that are higher than the national average and are in OFSTED’s top 10 in the country.

Approved by City & Guilds, Cache and Pearson’s to offer a range of courses to staff working within the care or business sector. Fully understanding that every person and every company work differently, which is why Aspire tailor courses to meet learner specific requirements.

We deliver training within Early Years up to L5, Health & Social Care up to L5, Leadership and Management up to L3, Business and Administration up to L3 we also deliver short courses within all the sectors just mentioned.

Best Training

Best Training is a community focused provider of education and training with a single minded vision of enabling all residents within Dorset to have a positive stake in society through employment and lifelong learning. We are a family run business that has operated within Dorset since 2000. From our centres in Bournemouth and Weymouth and via our outreach activities we specialise in the delivery of practical learning, employment solutions, outplacement services and corporate training.

Best Training delivers both classroom based and outreach advice and education services including Foundation English, Foundation Mathematics; Digital Skills; Skills for Business; Administration, Customer Service, First Aid at Work, Health & Safety, Team Building; Personal License Award and Securities. Accreditation is available in house or via awarding bodies including; City & Guilds, OCR and Highfield ABC.

HIT Training Ltd

HIT Training is the largest provider of training and apprenticeships for the Hotel and Catering Industry, a People 1st Gold accredited training provider and the only national provider to be an Endorsed Provider for Skills for Care.

We offer a huge range of work based apprenticeships, compliance and development schemes for people at all levels, from school-leavers to senior management. Founded in 2006, we have supported more than 100,000 people at over 22,000 sites across the UK and understand what employers need in order to be successful.

At HIT we take the time to get to know every individual and business we work with to find the best training solutions to meet all end goals, improve team motivation, increase the quality of services and boost businesses’ profitability. In the last year alone, HIT Training delivered over a quarter of all hotel and catering apprenticeships in England and helped more than 20,000 people gain a qualification, apprenticeship or job.

The passion of our team is reflected in our 80% success rate, which makes us the highest ranking specialist apprenticeship provider in the Hospitality Industry. At HIT Training we have a positive vision of what apprenticeships can do: improve individual’s skills and therefore their life chances; make businesses more efficient; and boost the economy. 


Hit Logo

Locomotivation Ltd

Locomotivation is an established independent training provider with 18 years’ experience of delivering a variety of training programmes including skills and apprenticeships. Locomotivation have held and successfully managed a direct contract with the government agencies since 1999. We currently deliver Apprenticeship training to between 800 and 1000 apprentices per year. Locomotivation hold a skills training contract funded through European Social Fund and work in partnership with other providers to deliver the local priorities identified by the LEP.

We deliver all our training direct to the employer in the workplace through 1-2-1 meetings and group workshops. Areas of delivery include Sport and Leisure, Gym, Aviation, Hospitality, Health and Social Care, Retail and Sales, Business Administration, Contact Centre, Customer Service and Leadership and Management programmes through ILM.

Locomotivation holds the Matrix standard for Information Advice and Guidance (IAG). Locomotivation has been rated as good by Ofsted for the past 9 years. Locomotivation works with a number of Awarding Organisations and are a low risk Centre, holding direct claim status for all qualifications offered.

Locomotivation are part the Dorset Chamber of Commerce and Dorset and Somerset Training Provider Network as well as attending meetings with the local LEP and Employment Skills Board.

Loco motivation logo

Tempus Training

Established in 2005, Tempus Training is an independent provider of quality training solutions to individuals and businesses.

We specialise in the delivery of Apprenticeships and work-based training with particular expertise at delivering programmes in Health & Social Care, Management, Team Leadership, Business Administration and Customer Service.

We work closely with businesses in Dorset and across England to deliver the training and qualifications they need to develop the competencies, skills and qualifications of their staff.

In the Dorset area Tempus is working with organisations within the Adult Care sector to provide a wide range of accredited, CPD appropriate qualifications including:

  • Autism Level 2
  • Diabetes Level 2
  • Infection Control Level 2
  • Nutrition & Health Level 2
  • Dementia Awareness Level 2
  • Mental Health Awareness Level 2
  • Safe Handling of Medicines Level 2
  • Understanding Behaviour that Challenges Others Level 2
  • Working with Individuals with Learning Disabilities Level 2
  • Understanding Dignity & Safeguarding Level 2
  • End of life Level 2
  • End of life Level 3

Our non-care course titles include:

  • Care Customer Service Level 2
  • Retail Level 2
  • Warehousing Level 2
  • Business Administration
  • Team Leading Level 2

These courses are delivered via high-quality workbooks with facilitated tutor support. This provides the learners with a flexible, convenient method of study and can reduce the business impact of staff absence on the organisation.

Our courses are assessed and verified by qualified staff and accredited and certified by NCFE.

For further information on how you or your staff can take advantage of the limited funding available for these courses please call us on 01273 669 455 to speak to one of our training consultants.

Tempus logo

Weymouth College

The Dorset Training Academy at Weymouth College brings the partnership between business and education to the very heart of the Dorset.

We offer a wide range of professional training solutions specifically for businesses, from short courses to industry-recognised qualifications, from classroom based courses, bespoke onsite delivery and online learning.

Our trainers offer valuable insight and expert knowledge to increase the impact of all of our training courses.

Under the Skills Support for the Workforce Initiative, we have already engaged with over 850 learners in Dorset and training opportunities are still available in the following areas:

  • Business and Finance
  • Engineering
  • Food and Safety
  • Health and Care
  • Hospitality and Catering
  • Management and Administration
  • Marketing and Digital Media
  • Safeguarding

For further details of the courses available now under the Skills Support for the Workforce initiative in Dorset visit their website.

Weymouth college logo

Skills UK 

Skills UK Ltd are leading providers of quality training.

At Skills UK we aim to help you to develop, implement and maintain career plans. We will provide you with information, advice and guidance, to achieve your goals. 

Accredited or non-accredited - it's your choice

Workforce training is completely flexible.

As we work with you, it may become clear that the best training option is accredited. An accredited course is quality assured by an awarding body, for example Edexcel.

A non-accredited course, such as bespoke training designed to upskill your workforce around a particular business need or issue, may not lead to a final qualification but is no less valueable to your operation.

It depends on what's right for your business.

We provide training for:

  • all levels from beginners to post graduate,
  • apprenticeships,
  • whichever area you are working in, or would like to work in.

Register your interest