600 businesses in the Black Country benefit from free skills training

Over 600 businesses in the Black Country have benefited from free skills training this year through the Skills Support for the Workforce project to help businesses in the region raise productivity and boost business growth, by upskilling their staff.

The latest figures show that over 1,500 employees in the region, working in organisations across a range of sectors, have benefited from the training scheme to date.

The programme offers fully funded training designed to address skills needs in the Black Country, specifically in advanced manufacturing, business services, building and construction, health and social care and transport and environmental technologies.

The scheme delivers courses through a network of colleges and local training providers, offering bespoke training planning and a range of courses to suit different business needs.

Funding was made available to businesses through Skills Support for the Workforce, which is being delivered by Calderdale College, at the start of the year, with almost £10m remaining for businesses to apply for until Spring next year.

Ebrahim Dockrat, Director of Calderdale College, the prime contractor delivering The Skills Support for the Workforce project, said: “It is hugely encouraging to see what has been achieved in the first phase of this programme and that, collectively with the Black Country Skills Factory initiative, over 1,500 people across the region have had the opportunity to develop their skills.

“To hear how businesses of all types have benefited, from manufacturers to engineering companies, highlights the Black Country’s diverse business landscape but also the appetite from companies to invest in the skills of their staff to promote growth.

“As this training is funded with European money these are the last projects of their kind, so it’s a case of applying for funding and benefiting whilst businesses still can.”

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, challenges which Skills Support for the Workforce is designed to tackle.

For more information and to see if your business is eligible for fully-funded training through Skills Support for the Workforce, click here

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