Black Country’s SMEs missing out on free skills

Posted on 23 Sep 2017 and read 830 times
Black Country’s SMEs missing out on free skillsSMEs in the Black Country are being urged to take advantage of free training that is being offered in the region to help up-skill staff, raise productivity and boost business growth.

Over £10 million has been made available for businesses in the region through the Skills Support for the Workforce project; it is funded by the European Social Fund, but businesses only have until spring next year to apply for places on the scheme.

There are three million people of working age living within a 20 mile radius of the Black Country, offering a vast local labour resource and world-class engineering skills.

Ebrahim Dockrat, external funding director at Calderdale College (the prime contractor responsible for delivering the project), said: “Based on the region’s specific skills gaps, and continued uncertainty over Brexit affecting business confidence, we have developed a range of flexible and bespoke training plans.

"Training can not only help increase productivity and the services that businesses can offer but also motivate and engages the workforce and, as a result, improve employee retention.”

Research has found that employees that undertake non-compulsory, work-related training do their jobs better and are more satisfied with their work.

For more information on the Skills Support for the Workforce project can be found at the Web site (

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