Nearly 5,000 employees boosted by free skills training in the Black Country

More than 4,800 people in the Black Country have benefited from free skills training through a programme to support businesses in upskilling employees, raising productivity and boosting business growth.

Since the £10.6m Skills Support for the Workforce (SSW) fund was made available last year, 920 businesses have taken advantage of the opportunity for their staff to gain professional training across a range of skills and sectors.

The scheme is designed to specifically give SMEs in the Black Country the chance to upskill their workforce and to fill the region’s skills gaps.

Robert Kaye, relationship manager of the SSW project in the Black Country, said: “It is brilliant to see our programme help even more businesses following the extension of the project earlier this year.

“Businesses from all sectors in the area are benefiting from upskilling their staff, including increasing staff motivation and improving productivity levels – all as a result of engaging their employees through challenging but rewarding training.”
Working with the Black Country LEP, SSW’s local training providers have courses covering a wide range of employability skills, as well as specific courses across key sectors, including advanced manufacturing, business services, building and construction, health and social care and transport and environmental technologies.

Ninder Johal, board member at the Black Country LEP, said: “We have excellent training available for employees and businesses in the area and we are delighted with the high numbers that have engaged. Research shows that only a third of employees are highly engaged at work and the fully-funded training can assist with this by increasing motivation and general productivity.  It is a very exciting time for the region and we look forward to continuing to support the growth we’ve already seen.”

Delivered by Calderdale College – one of the country’s largest providers of European Social Fund funded training – through local providers, the training is for businesses based in the Local Enterprise Partnership area.