The Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has committed over £250,000 to local businesses, enabling over 100 employers to invest in training and upskilling a total of 707 staff.
The LEP’s skills service, which itself is taking on 2 new apprentices, is supporting businesses to identify their training needs, and access advice, support and funding to upskill their workforces based on business growth objectives.
Businesses already benefitting from the support and funding include Epiphany, a multi award-winning UK digital agency based in Leeds, who took advantage of the LEP skills service to access leadership skills training and coaching for their staff.
Rachel Evans, Talent Development Manager at Epiphany said: "Epiphany is one of the largest search marketing agencies in the UK, employing over 160 members of staff in Leeds, London and Sydney, Australia. Thanks to the LEP we were able to access funding for staff to undertake leadership and time management training which essential skills for our staff are if we are to compete on a global scale.
“The funding and support means we can re-invest potential savings into further staff development and continue to grow our business both here in Leeds City Region and in international markets."
Other businesses taking advantage of this support include Wakefield-based leading manufacturing firm Custompac.
Jeremy Smith, Director of Custompac said: “Our contact at Wakefield Council recommended we apply to the service for support with staff training. Thanks to the LEP, we were able to get funding for Solid Solutions CAD training, enabling us to advance staff skills and stay ahead of the competition.
“For us the process was simple and easy to understand. We were able to pull together a complete training plan for our team and thanks to the funding we could provide staff with opportunities we wouldn't have been able to otherwise. I would definitely encourage other businesses to contact the LEP and see how they can grow.”
Training supported so far has been wide-ranging from PRINCE2 and Leadership and Management, to more specialist training such as introduction to chemistry for contaminated land.
Stephanie Burras CBE, Founder and Chief Executive of Ahead Partnership and Chair of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Employment and Skills Panel said: “As a private sector representative and skills lead on the LEP board I am pleased to see businesses taking advantage of the LEP skills service offer and accessing funding support for training.
“The LEP’s ambition is to grow the regional economy and to succeed, we need to support businesses to develop their workforce by investing in training. Providing employers with a skilled workforce plays a huge part in accelerating growth and unlocking the social and economic potential of the Leeds City Region.”
Employers across Leeds City Region have until March 2017 to access the £13.9m funding and are encouraged find out more information and to see if they are eligible by visiting www.the-lep.com/skillsservice or contacting an experienced skills advisor on email@example.com or 0113 386 1910.
The LEP skills service is delivered by a consortium, which is made up of Calderdale College, Leeds City College, West and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce and Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce and Industry on behalf of the West Yorkshire Consortium of Colleges. It has been partly supported by HM Government with Employer Ownership funding.