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Businesses in Tees Valley looking to improve the skills and productivity of their workforce are being encouraged to take advantage of free online training from the Skills Support for the Workforce Programme.

The Skills Support for the Workforce (SSW) Programme upskills employees in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across the Tees Valley and is co-financed by the European Social Fund.

Delivered by Calderdale College and working through a network of locally-based, professional training providers, the programme has expanded its offer to include a variety of remote and online training courses to help businesses grow and improve during lockdown.

SSW provides fully-funded qualifications and training courses tailored to help meet individual business’ skills needs, in order to increase productivity and encourage growth.

The programme has already experienced success in the region, having funded training for over 580 businesses and upskilled over 1,900 employees.

In addition to training in areas such as team leading, customer services, business administration, health care, IT user skills, digital skills and many more, the SSW programme has also added training and development to specifically support the current situation for businesses, including resilience and recovery in business, digital productivity, promotion and growth, and remote working technologies, best practice and employer support.

Helen Howland, head of Skills Support for the Workforce programme in Tees Valley, said: “This online training could make a real difference to the businesses and people who live and work across the region.

“During this period of uncertainty, training can help to keep staff engaged, and ensure that they come back to their role, whether from homeworking or furlough, with a higher skills level.

“At a time when there is already general skill shortages across most sectors, this fully-funded training means we can provide residents in Tees Valley with the right qualifications to stay in work, whilst meeting the needs of businesses to have a workforce with multiple skillsets.”

Support is also available for employed staff who have been furloughed under continuous professional development. Employers are encouraged to contact the SSW team for a free skills needs analysis.

To find out more about the support available and to see if your business is eligible for fully-funded training please visit the Skills Support for the Workforce website.

Amanda Armstrong
Article by Amanda Armstrong
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