?4 million of free skills training available for small businesses across Swindon and Wiltshire

By Staff Reporter - 11 July 2017


Up to £4 million in funding is being offered to small and medium sized enterprises across Swindon and Wiltshire.

The cash is being offered by a programme organised by Skills Support for the Workforce (SSW) and managed by Serco's Employment, Skills and Enterprise business. Serco provides public services and operates internationally across five sectors: Defence, Justice and Immigration, Transport, Heath and Citizen Services.

Co-funded by the European Social Fund and the Education and Skills Funding Agency, the programme involves Serco working with Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership (SWLEP) to address skills gaps and offer training opportunities free of charge to support growth across the local economy.

Serco has partnered with expert training providers to offer local businesses a range of fully-funded accredited qualifications and bespoke training courses aimed at enhancing employees’ skills and increasing the competitiveness of local businesses.

Businesses can select full qualifications or mix and match individual units that are directly relevant to their work. The courses range from a few hours’ training, to units of NVQ or other qualifications. Previous programme participants have benefited from increased employee confidence, motivation and productivity and improved employee loyalty and retention.

The programme will focus on supporting:

Employed individuals in the following key sector businesses as identified by the Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership (SWLEP) : Advanced Engineering and High Value Manufacturing; Health and Life Science; Financial and Professional Services; Digital and Information and Communications Technology; Construction; Land Based Industries; Visitor Economy; Adult Heath and Social Care; Low Carbon Economy.

Lower-waged workers with the ability and aspiration for better careers - in any business

Employed or self-employed SME business-leaders for leadership and management skills

Gareth Moss, Serco’s Director for Employment, Skills and Enterprise, said: “Developing employees’ skills is a vital part of building a successful business. We’d urge local employers to take advantage of this brilliant opportunity to strengthen the skills of their workforce through training which is not only fully-funded, but also designed to meet their specific needs.”

John Mortimer, Chairman of the Swindon & Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership (SWLEP), said: “Swindon and Wiltshire is home to recognised industry clusters in scientific research and development, advanced manufacturing, life sciences and financial services, providing high-skill employment opportunities. Improving skill levels therefore, is a priority for the SWLEP, as we recognise the need for our people to be appropriately qualified to compete for these jobs.

"We welcome the Skills Support for Workforce (SSW) programme in Swindon and Wiltshire as it will supplement our existing efforts to enable people to access a skills programme with proven success. Working together with Serco we will continue our efforts to help create a stronger and better qualified workforce in Swindon and Wiltshire.”

Small businesses are being urged to utilise the funds free for training their workforce before the deadline in July 2018.

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

More details for employers here.

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