Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in Coventry and Warwickshire are urged to take advantage of a £5.3m skills training pot for their workforce, as a result of a contract extension.
The training is delivered as part of a programme called Skills Support for the Workforce (SSW), which Serco’s Employment, Skills & Enterprise business is managing across Coventry and Warwickshire. Since the programme launched in September 2016, 2,348 learners from 323 businesses in Coventry and Warwickshire have taken advantage of the funded training available*. Serco has just been awarded a contract extension to continue delivering the programme until March 2019.
Serco supports growth across all sectors by providing basic skills training including literacy and numeracy, English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), employment skills such as communication and team working, and vocationally specific qualifications. Intermediate and Higher level skills training is also available in the following sectors, which have been identified as key priority sectors by Coventry and Warwickshire’s Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP):
• Advanced Manufacturing & Engineering
Businesses operating in these sectors can access funding for training courses such as IT, leadership and management, as well as vocationally-relevant training (depending on the sector).
To deliver the programme, which is co-funded by the European Social Fund and the Education and Skills Funding Agency, Serco has partnered with expert training organisations to offer local businesses recognised accredited qualifications and bespoke training courses, aiming to enhance employees’ skills and increase the competitiveness of the businesses.
Businesses can select from a range of qualifications or mix and match individual to support their work. The courses, which can take place at the employees’ workplace, range from a few hours’ training, to units of NVQ or other qualifications. Programme participants have benefited from increased employee confidence, motivation and productivity and businesses have reported improved employee loyalty and retention.
Commenting on the contract extension, Rob Matts, Serco’s Head of Skills Support for the Workforce, said: “We are delighted that the Education and Skills Funding agency are trusting Serco to continue making a positive impact to local communities in Coventry and Warwickshire. Skills Support for the Workforce is a brilliant skills training programme which small businesses in Coventry and Warwickshire can take advantage of at no cost to them. Thousands of people have benefited from this programme already and I would urge businesses to make the most of the funding available before March 2019, so that they too can benefit from this investment in vital skills training."
Roger Dowthwaite of the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “Developing skills is one of the key objectives of the CWLEP and extending this programme means even more people in Coventry and Warwickshire can improve their skills to progress further up the career ladder or re-train. This initiative also helps employers since their businesses will benefit from being able to retain key staff, having a more skilled workforce and improving their competitiveness.”
Serco also delivers this programme in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, Dorset, Swindon & Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, South East Midlands, Worcestershire, Stoke and Staffordshire. In Devon and Somerset Serco delivers Heart of the South West Apprenticeship Service.
*Figures correct as of 30 April 2018
Bright Secure Future, based in Coventry, provides accommodation and support for young people between the ages of 16 to 25 years of age. Many of the people they assist are in the process of leaving the care system but are not yet ready to live independently within the community.
Bright Secure Future have benefited from fully funded training through Skills Support for the Workforce delivered by Groundwork, one of Serco’s training providers.
Stephanie Tatana, Managing Director at Bright Secure Future said: “We are committed to training and developing our workforce so we can provide high quality care and support for young people. We are pleased with the level of expertise and knowledge by Groundwork and staff are excited to put what they have learnt into practice and progress further. I would recommend any business looking to develop their workforce to see if they are eligible for fully funded training through Skills Support for the Workforce.”