Calderdale College leads the development of new skills provision in York, North Yorkshire and East Riding

Calderdale College, in collaboration with the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), is helping shape the future of skills provision in the region by undertaking a range of innovative projects as part of its £4.7m Skills Support for the Workforce programme.

Co-financed by the European Social Fund and Education and Skills Funding Agency, Skills Support for the Workforce supports SMEs in the region with fully funded training.

The projects which Calderdale College is delivering include a range of activities, from researching the emerging skills needs of employers, to developing and piloting toolkits and short courses that support the owners and managers of small and micro- businesses.

Shaun Withers, Development Manager at Calderdale College, said: “These projects will generate critical insight into key sectors and deliver initiatives that will make a difference to small businesses and their employees, and make a significant contribution to the LEP’s skills priorities.”

The wide range of activities Calderdale College is responsible for include:

  • Initiatives to promote the participation of young women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), such as setting up and running four STEM Champion Networks, creating pen portraits and employer toolkits and producing a Careers and Outreach Support Pack for teachers.
  • Six Leadership and Management Toolkits that help owners and managers in micro-businesses or smaller workplaces that do not have the time or opportunity to take part in traditional, longer training courses.
  • A resource pack that will equip Sole Traders and micro-businesses to proactively build a culture that promotes positive approaches to mental health and well-being management in the workplace, to help reduce high staff turnover and absenteeism - bolstering productivity and competitiveness.
  • Research into the bio-economy sector and the design of skills frameworks for the horticultural and arboriculture sectors, focused on the safe handling of plants and trees.
  • A series of Future Needs Reports into the following key priority sectors: agriculture and agritech, voluntary, community and social enterprise, construction, bio renewables, health and social care, food manufacture, visitor economy and engineering. The reports will allow the LEP to better understand the future skills needs of each sector in the medium term so that it can take the appropriate action.
  • A series of new short bridging courses designed to boost confidence in employees as they progress from level 2 to 3, level 3 to 4 or assume new responsibility at work.
  • Supporting companies to promote products and services and secure new business in an increasingly global marketplace and equipping them with the skills to develop resilient businesses in volatile environments.

For more information about these activities or if you would like to hear about other innovative projects being undertaken as part of this programme, please contact

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