Free training programme launched for adults to boost essential skills

Almost £9.5m of funding has been secured to provide free skills training for over 5,000 adults in the area served by the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Local Enterprise Partnership (YNYER LEP) and Tees Valley Combined Authority.

The Skills Support for the Workforce (SSW) programme has been developed to upskill employees in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and micro-businesses over the next two years and is co-financed by the European Social Fund (ESF) - an EU established fund to help local areas stimulate economic development through skills and job creation.

SSW will provide fully funded qualifications and training courses, tailored to help meet individual businesses’ skills needs to help increase productivity and encourage growth.

In York, North Yorkshire and East Riding, the programme will focus on delivering skills training to support the LEP’s key priority sectors; Bioeconomy, Food Manufacturing, Construction, Engineering, Voluntary and Community, Visitor Economy and Health and Social Care.

Whilst in Tees Valley, training will be centred around the Combined Authority’s key priority sectors; Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering, Energy, Retail, Construction, Service Sector and Business Services, as well as Digital.

The training will be delivered by Calderdale College in partnership with a range of specialist, regional training providers and includes technical skills, leadership and management training, team working and vocational qualifications, as well as employability and basic skills training including literacy and numeracy.

Helen Howland, Head of the Skills Support for the Workforce programmes, said: “This funding can make a real difference to the businesses and people who live and work across both regions.

“There are significant skills shortages across both the regions’ priority sectors and the businesses that operate in them. This new funding means we can work more closely with them to identify and deliver the training they need to help them grow, which in turn will have a substantial economic impact and opportunities for new jobs.”

The College has already had success in both regions delivering a previous Skills Support for the Workforce programme, having provided training for over 2,000 businesses and helped 6,650 employees to gain new skills over the last two years. It is this success that’s led to Calderdale College securing the further multi-million-pound funding to deliver a new round of SSW.

For more information and to see if your business is eligible for fully-funded training in the YNYER area, please visit or for the Tees Valley area:

Ashleigh Smith
Article by Ashleigh Smith
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