The latest of a number of independent evaluation reports carried out on the Yorkshire and Humber’s largest workforce skills support package has shown it to be a huge success.
The £50m Skills Enhancement Fund, managed by Calderdale College on behalf of West Yorkshire Consortium of Colleges, enables employers to improve the local skills base by providing funded training, and the evaluation of the programme reveals that the benefits to employers, employees and training providers have been huge.
Some of the most positive findings to come out of the report were the benefits the training has had for employee job prospects. Jobs have been created and jobs that would have been lost have been sustained due to the fund.
Employees have been able to learn and develop new skills, techniques and knowledge that can be used regularly in the workplace. As well as this, employers have seen staff becoming better at their jobs, increased levels of self-confidence and job satisfaction, leading to a happier and more productive workforce.
Through the fund, local employers are able to access high quality training for employees, enabling them to develop the skills of their staff, and increase productivity for their organisations. This can mean rises in sales and profits and reduced costs. Benefits have also been an increase in staff retention, and improvements in company culture through demonstrating an interest in staff development. Employer satisfaction with the training their staff received was found to be “extremely high [with] very little room for improvement”.
The report, which came out in November 2012, also revealed good news for the local economy, as even in this time of austerity, many of the training providers have experienced an increase in sales and profits due to their engagement with the fund, or expect them to occur in the future.
Joanne Patrickson, Director of External Funding at Calderdale College said “Training plays a huge part in any successful business. By investing in the workforce in this way staff feel valued and motivated, improving job satisfaction and staff retention. Additionally, by ensuring staff have the correct skills to carry out their roles efficiently and competently, the organisation remains competitive and productivity improves, resulting in local businesses and the local economy benefiting. The results of the evaluation report are extremely encouraging. It really highlights the value of training for participants and local organisations. Not only do the results show that the training has been highly commended by employees and local businesses, they also reveal that job security and employability have been improved as a direct result of the training provided through the Skills Enhancement Fund.”
The fund, which is co-financed by the Skills Funding Agency and European Social Fund, has supported over 6,500 businesses and enabled 51,477 employees in the region to access training and develop skills, ensuring that staff are given the support to progress, and businesses are able to build stronger and more productive workforces.
The report shows Calderdale College’s Skills Enhancement Fund to be a real asset to the local economy and community. With other projects in the pipeline, there looks to be much more to come from the College’s External Funding Unit.
To find out more about the Skills Enhancement Fund please visit www.enhancementfund.co.uk or call the team on 01422 399339.