Over 1,700 employees in Greater Manchester have benefited from free skills training this year through a programme to support businesses in the region, to raise productivity and boost business growth by upskilling staff.
Since the start of the year, the Skills Support for the Workforce scheme has provided fully funded training to over 400 businesses in the region, across a range of sectors.
The training, which is funded by the European Social Fund, is specifically designed to help SMEs in Greater Manchester upskill their workforce to fill the region’s skills gaps.
The funding was made available to businesses through the Skills Support for the Workforce at the start of the year, with almost £5.3m made available for businesses to apply for.
Not only can training help increase productivity and the services that businesses can offer, it also motivates and engages the workforce and, as a result, improves employee retention.
Research has found that employees that undertake non-compulsory, work-related training do their jobs better and are more satisfied with their work. However, a lack of time and potential costs act as a barrier to accessing training. The Skills Support for the Workforce project is designed to tackle these challenges.
The project is co-financed by the European Union’s European Social Fund and the Education and Skills Funding Agency and is available for SMEs seeking non-compulsory work-based training to support their business growth plan.
Delivered by Calderdale College – one of the country’s largest providers of European Social Fund funded training - through local providers, the training is for businesses based in the Local Enterprise Partnership area.