A multimillion pound package of free training has been unveiled to help North East enterprises and people at risk of redundancy to improve their skills and open-up new job opportunities.

Go>Grow is a regional skills and enterprise programme, which has been launched in partnership with 30 local training providers, and comes on the back of £15m of funding secured by Gateshead College from the European Social Fund through the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA).

The training is structured around a programme of courses for start-ups or small businesses looking to widen their skills base or employers who want to upskill or strengthen their workforce.

Courses will also be available to support people looking to get back into work through brushing up their skills, or who are at risk of redundancy.

A choice of business booster and personal improvement courses in automotive, digital marketing, manufacturing, leadership and management, enterprise, hospitality, catering and leisure and IT among others will be available until July 2018.

The Go>Grow programme, managed by Gateshead College, is being rolled-out region-wide as part of an initiative involving partners working together to meet regional skills needs.

It also has the backing of the North East Local Enterprise Partnership and North East England Chamber of Commerce.

Experts will work with businesses to develop training that meets the individual needs of businesses or offers those who might never have embarked on training programmes, the opportunity to access bespoke packages specific to their needs.

A tailormade programme is developed and delivered at any of the Go>Grow training provider sites, or within the premises of the individual businesses.

Ivan Jepson, director of business development at Gateshead College, said: “Go>Grow provides a fantastic opportunity for entrepreneurs and companies to gain some really beneficial new skills through a fully funded training programme.

“They also offer the chance for someone who has been looking for work, or facing possible redundancy, to gain skills that will help them back on their feet or face the future with confidence.

“Partners will be working together and with other local organisations as part of an initiative that will secure the futures of our businesses and entrepreneurs, generate new employment opportunities and boost SME growth. This is all crucial to the economic prosperity of the North East.”

Details of the Go>Grow courses are available at www.gogrow.org.uk

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