Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in Greater Cambridge & Greater Peterborough, are urged to take advantage of a £3.7 million skills training fund to upskill their workforce.
The training is delivered as part of the Skills Support for the Workforce (SSW) programme, which Serco’s Employment, Skills & Enterprise business is managing across Greater Cambridge & Greater Peterborough.
Under the 28-month programme which launched in April, Serco will work in partnership with the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority and Business Board (previously GCGP Local Enterprise Partnership) to provide skills development that focuses on upskilling employees in key priority sectors as identified in the Combined Authority’s various strategic programmes on the local economy and skills;
• Agriculture & Food
• Advanced Manufacturing
• Life Sciences
• IT & Digital
• Health & Social Care
Through SSW, eligible businesses can benefit from funded training, tailored to their specific needs. Training is flexible and businesses can select full qualifications or mix and match individual units that are directly relevant to their work. Previous SSW programme participants have benefited from increased employee confidence, motivation and productivity and improved employee loyalty and retention.
Business participants will each benefit from a bespoke Training Needs Analysis that identifies requirements for upskilling or skills gaps in their workforce. Training for participant businesses could cover subjects such as IT and digital skills, leadership and management or more vocationally relevant courses.
The SSW programme covering Greater Cambridge and Greater Peterborough also offers support and training for individuals at risk of redundancy or those who have been made redundant within the last three months.
To deliver the programme, which is co-financed by the European Social Fund and the Education and Skills Funding Agency, Serco has partnered with expert training organisations to offer local businesses recognised accredited qualifications and bespoke training courses, aiming to enhance employees’ skills and increase the competitiveness of the businesses.
Cllr John Holdich, chairman of the Combined Authority’s Skills Committee said: “To make the most of this new funding, it is essential that it is targeted at key business sectors in the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough economy and broader LEP area, which have an identified need for more skills.
“The benefits are clearly two-fold. For employees, upskilling can increase pay, improve job security, open up more career options and lead to greater job satisfaction and fulfilment. For employers, tackling the skills gap increases productivity, competitiveness, delivers a more motivated workforce, and ultimately improves the bottom line.
“With our broad agenda to increase the levels of skills in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough through a variety of programmes, the Combined Authority and Business Board is well placed to support the successful delivery of this funding across the whole LEP area. We look forward to seeing the results over the next 28 months.”