Six reasons Leicester businesses are being encouraged to upskill in leadership and management

Over £1.8m of funding for leadership and management training is now available to SMEs in Leicester and the wider Leicestershire region through the Skills Support for the Workforce project, to upskill their workforce.
Having a manager or boss with good leadership skills is advantageous for the whole company and benefits all employees, but businesses across the region say management and leadership is an area in which they often have major skills gaps.

Skills Support for the Workforce’s Senior Development Manager, Sajid Butt, explains: “There are more than 425,800 people of working age living in Leicestershire however, some employers have reported that they find it difficult to recruit people with the right qualifications, skillset or level of training, particularly when it comes to leadership and management skills.

“Figures from the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP) also show that only 56.3% of businesses in the region survive three years. By upskilling supervisors, managers and leaders it gives businesses and organisations greater propensity to succeed as they are able to manage the process of growth.

“Unfortunately for many SMEs, a lack of time and difficulties meeting the cost of training courses can prevent them from offering their employees development opportunities. A report by the Federation of Small Businesses found that 43% of businesses listed the cost of training as a major challenge.

“The free training on offer through the Skills Support for the Workforce project has been specifically designed to bridge the gap in leadership and management skills within the region.

“By encouraging employees to work towards these fully-funded, bespoke training courses and professional qualifications, SMEs can enjoy a range of benefits.”

Six major benefits that leadership and management training can provide are:

1. Improved decision making: When employees are trained in the latest management techniques and approaches, they are able to make better management decisions when it comes to planning and managing change, engaging colleagues to improve performance and dealing with complex and challenging issues.

2. Increased confidence: When they complete training and gain new qualifications, current and prospective managers have the confidence to take on more responsibility and step up into more challenging roles within the team. They also work more efficiently, boosting the overall productivity of the business.

3. The competitive edge: Not only can training help increase productivity and enhance the range of services that a business can offer, it can give SMEs in highly competitive industries the edge over their rivals, helping them to win new business, contracts or clients.
4. Job satisfaction: Research has found that managers who feel encouraged and supported to develop their knowledge and skills not only work more effectively, but are also more satisfied in their jobs. This makes them positive role models for their fellow employees and great ambassadors for the business.

5. Employee retention: A more fulfilled, motivated and engaged workforce is a more loyal workforce, which means that managers are less likely to look for work elsewhere.

6. Growth: The knock-on effect of all these benefits is greater potential for a business to grow, not to mention the positive personal growth and development impacts for employees.
Co-financed by the European Union’s European Social Fund and the Education and Skills Funding Agency, Skills Support for the Workforce funding is available to SMEs operating in all sectors, including advanced manufacturing, engineering, food and drink, logistics and distribution, professional and financial services, textiles, tourism and hospitality, low carbon and other fields, helping them to meet the cost of non-compulsory, work-based training to support their business growth plan.

A wide range of leadership and management training courses are available, including: people management, team leading, influencing skills, conflict management, strategic management, organisational planning, financial management, budget management, stakeholder management and project management.

Businesses, social enterprises and third sector organisation and sole traders interested in applying for the funding must act quickly as it’s only available until Spring 2018.

The project is led by Calderdale College – one of the country’s largest providers of training offered through the European Social Fund.

For more information about the courses on offer visit, call 08456443753, or email