Small and medium sized enterprises in Swindon & Wiltshire, are urged to take advantage of a £3 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 is managing across Swindon & Wiltshire. Eligible businesses can benefit from:

• A training needs analysis for your business, identifying the skills you need to support your business ambitions
• Flexible training – pick full qualifications or mix and match individual units to suit your business
• On-the-job vocational training to meet individual and business needs including taught learning, workplace assessment, distance learning and online learning
• Learning pathways for your employees enabling them to progress within your organisation onto higher level qualifications or apprenticeships
• Recognised accredited qualifications and training courses to enhance your employees’ skills

SSW is co-financed by the European Social Fund (ESF) and the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA), which means you can access a wide range of training at no cost to your business. SSW has a network of expert training providers who can deliver a range of fully funded training courses and accredited qualifications.

The courses on offer include:
• Leadership/Management/HR/Team Leading/People
• IT & Digital Skills
• Business & Office Skills
• Digital Marketing
• Health & Social Care
• Hospitality & Catering
• Mental Health Awareness
• Business Admin

• Customer Service
• Warehousing/Storage/Logistics
• Construction

In Swindon and Wiltshire, SSW has supported 1,501 learners since April 2019 with over £1.6 million invested to date in training and skills support. The rate of progression within work as a result of this training is 81%.

HR Hislop Electrical Contractors Ltd, an electrical services company in Wiltshire, needed to upskill their employees in IT to improve efficiency and support their business’ marketing. HR Hislop were put in touch with Skills Ladder Ltd, one of Serco’s trusted network of expert organisations chosen to deliver the SSW programme. As SSW is co-financed by the ESF and the ESFA, HR Hislop accessed the training at no cost to their business.

A Social Media course was delivered in Swindon over a two-day period and a Spreadsheet course was delivered via Zoom due to the COVID 19 pandemic. So far four members of staff have benefited from the training; two employees learned about spreadsheets and two employees have worked on social media and video production. Three employees have achieved the Level 2 Award in IT User.

Jonathan Baker, one of the learners, said:

The course exceeded my expectations and I enjoyed learning the new skills.

Rachel Button, Admin Office Supervisor at Pacific West Foods, took advantage of the SSW programme, in partnership with Wiltshire College & University Centre, another of Serco’s trusted network of expert organisations chosen to deliver the SSW programme. Rachel achieved a Level 2 ILM Certificate in Leadership and Team Skills qualification and then progressed onto a Level 3 ILM Leadership and Management Award qualification.
The courses helped Rachel to gain a better understanding of leadership as well as an undeniable confidence. Rachel’s Manager, Lisa Semple, said:

Having been away from education for the best part of 20 years, Rachel was initially nervous about returning to learning. After submitting her first assessment and getting great feedback this gave her the confidence to really embrace the course, and she should feel very proud of the qualifications she achieved.

Completing the qualification gave Rachel a satisfying feeling of self-achievement and confidence to move on to the next level and even consider more training as she liked the flexibility of the training. For Rachel, the biggest benefit was achieving an end of course certificate which she can add to her CV.

If you would like to find out if your business is eligible for the funded training programme, simply go to https://www.serco-ese.com/skills-support-for-the-workforce/ or contact Lisa Hutchings, Partnership Coordinator, at skillssupport@serco.com.

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