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Employers encouraged to take advantage of free skills training before the end of March

ByJonny Connors

Jan 4, 2023
Last chance - SSW 2-407980a4

The Skills Support for the Workforce (SSW) Programme has announced that it’s the last chance for SME employers across Tees Valley to take advantage of free training and support before the programme ends in March 2023.

Since the programme began in April 2019, 1,550 businesses and 5,480 employees have been upskilled through bespoke, flexible training designed to fill their individual skills gaps, increase productivity and encourage business growth.

Following completion of the training, 98% of employers surveyed said that they would recommend SSW to other businesses and 95% agreed that the training has resulted in improvements in key areas of their business.

When asked about their experience of the training, one employer commented: “It has been absolutely invaluable, and I am exceptionally grateful for all of the help, guidance and support that I have been given and continue to get. I would not be starting up and running my own business without it.”[1]

The training is delivered by Calderdale College working in partnership with specialist local and regional training providers and is made possible through funding from the European Social Fund (ESF) and the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA).

Helen Howland, Head of the Skills Support for the Workforce Programme in Tees Valley, said: “No matter what sector you operate in, skills training is proven to bring a whole host of benefits to your business. Whether you want to boost employee morale, introduce additional revenue streams or enter into new markets, our specialist providers will work with you to identify the training solution that will best help your business to achieve its goals. Best of all, we’ll do it completely free of charge!

“We appreciate how difficult it can be for businesses at the moment, so we want to urge them not to miss out on this fantastic opportunity to build resilience, boost their reputations and ultimately support the regional economy by driving inward investment throughout Tees Valley.”

The Skills Support for the Workforce Programme is supported by the Tees Valley Mayor and Combined Authority. Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “Skills Support for the Workforce continues to be a hugely valuable service, giving local people the expertise they need to succeed and our businesses the ability to grow and create more good-quality jobs. The testimonials speak for themselves and I’d call on any firm that has identified skills gaps to take advantage of the programme before it’s too late.”

The SSW programme is co-financed by the European Social Fund (ESF) – an EU established fund to help local areas stimulate economic development through skills and job creation. It includes team working and vocational qualifications and technical skills support, as well as specialised courses across the region’s key priority sectors, including: Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering, Digital, Construction, Energy, Business Services, Retail, Life Sciences and the Service Sector.

To apply for free training through the Skills Support for the Workforce Programme, get in touch: https://ssw.fundingunit.org.uk/contact-us/.

[1] Skills Support for the Workforce Tees Valley Employer Survey, September 2022