European Social Fund and Local Enterprise Partnership programmes for residents in the Swindon & Wiltshire area

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Skills Support for the Workforce
Building Bridges
Community Grants
Growth Hub
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Skills support for the workforce

Serco logo

This is a programme aimed at upskilling employees within small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Swindon & Wiltshire. It provides recognised accredited qualifications and bespoke training courses to enhance employees’ skills, increase the competitiveness of the business and boost the local economy.

Working with SMEs to develop bespoke training programmes relevant to their needs, this £4m programme is co-funded by the Skills Funding Agency (SFA) and contracted out to Serco, supporting the workforce at no extra cost to the business.

For more information please visit:

thumbnail of Skills Support for the Workforce A5 (Swindon Wiltshire) V4

Building Bridges

thumbnail of Building Better OppurtunitiesBuilding Bridges is a partnership of organisations, led by Community First, that has come together to deliver the Building Better Opportunities Programme across Swindon and Wiltshire.

The project has received up to £8.4M of funding from the European Social Fund and The National Lottery Community Fund as part of the 2014-2020 European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme in England. The Department for Work and Pensions is the Managing Authority for the England European Social Fund programme. Established by the European Union, the European Social Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support skills development, employment and job creation, social inclusion and local community regeneration. For more information visit European Growth Funding

The programme supports people across Swindon and Wiltshire who are facing significant challenges in being able to develop their skills, access education or move towards the world of work. It is aimed at those who are unemployed, economically inactive and those facing multiple, complex challenges and barriers that could affect employability.

Relevant partners work with people on a one-to-one basis to help them address these challenges and develop a personalised plan to help achieve goals at a pace they are comfortable with. Taking part in the programme is entirely voluntary and all advice and support is offered free of charge.

To be eligible for the programme you must be:

  • Not working
  • not on a zero hours contract
  • be Aged 15 or Over
  • have the legal right to work in the United Kingdom
  • not in Prison.

For more information about the project visit the Building Bridges website

Building Bridges funding and partners banner

Community Training Grants

The Swindon and Wiltshire Community Training Grants support those furthest from the labour market, targeting the economically inactive. Successful applicants will move individuals either into employment, or establish a route towards employment, by helping individuals through education and training opportunities, advice, guidance and information.

The call for applications for grants is now closed, the grant recipients that have programmes running currently are listed below or visit the Groundworks website for more information.

Alabare Christian Care and Support – Wiltshire

Funding for an employability coach to act as a mentor, tutor, advocate etc. to support young person accessing education, training and employment opportunities.  The project will help participants liaise with external professionals and will work alongside key workers and the young person in providing the support.

Hear Me Out – Disability Experts CIC – Swindon

Project to support those who are deaf or hard of hearing into employment. Will include enquiry calls, job applications (BSL often first language), interview support, support once in work to ensure adequate adaptations are made and support to stay in employment.

Recro Consulting Ltd – The Life You Want – Swindon

The Project provides a two week course to those who may lack confidence and understanding of recruitment, aiming to improve their skills and self belief. It then provides up to 12 months support to that individual in their pursuit of employment or suitable further training. It includes telephone support, help with CVs, applications, job searching.

Calne Wordfest – Learn to Read Course for adults – Calne

Outreach activities in the Calne Community Area to identify adults that cannot read/have poor reading skills and encourage them to join confidential courses. Use networking through family members and carers, delivered locally, limited 6 to a course. Has key aims to contact people who are socially isolated.

Greatwood Charity – Get Going – Wiltshire

This is a 1st4Sport accredited Entry Level 2 Award in ‘Assisting with Basic Care of Horses’ educational programme.  Two programmes are delivered each year with 8 learners on each programme. It aims to combat the rise in unemployment amongst post 16 learners by offering a qualification in basic horse care enabling them to progress further in the equine industry or on to further learning. Develops key workplace skills for NEETS who have potentially struggled at school; have been in care; are long-term unemployed; or have been in trouble with the law.

Building Heroes Education Foundation – Outreach programme linking to construction career pathway for unemployed veterans -Trowbridge, Salisbury

The programme will target military veterans and their immediate families who are unemployed or economically inactive in Wiltshire, comprising of construction skills, welfare and employment. Those engaged via our Outreach programme will attend five week Construction Skills programme to learn a broad range of building trade skills, gaining a Level 1 Diploma and industry recognised Health and Safety accreditation. Will engage with local employers to create a pool of job opportunities for our graduates, providing relevant support to our beneficiaries to maximise opportunities for successful transition to work.

The Harbour Project – Footsteps – Swindon

Enabling Refugees to navigate their way in an unfamiliar society to access the UK job market and utilise their talents. This is through training, coaching, skills development, volunteering, mentoring and support in CV development and job application. Takes is a person-centric approach to understand their specific skills and ambitions as well as directly challenging real and perceived barriers to employment.

Supporting NEETS – Swindon and Wiltshire LEP

Programme to support young people (15 to 25) who are not in employment, education or training (NEET) or who are at risk of becoming NEET.

Services will focus on pre-employability support that builds resilience, self-esteem and tackles poor mental health. Often young adults require lengthy interventions that build trust before taking on learning or employment.

Learners will attend for 4-10 weeks, on hours of 10-30 per week. Each programme will be individual to the learner. After initial referral participants will be met by the training provider, receive an informal interview / engagement meeting to ensure that the provider starts to get to know the participant and then this will start to form the basis of the Individual Learning Plan.

The programme should be seen as a stepping-stone to further employment, education and training and not a long-term programme i.e.. Not providing support all year round to pre 16 learners, as provision for this already exists.

Further information about the Get Ahead Programme

Growth Hub

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The Growth Hub can work with your business to up-skill your employees with locally delivered, bespoke higher level training solutions created in partnership with our nationally based university level providers, saving you time and money.

“Over the next three to five years, more than three-quarters of businesses (77%) expect to increase the number of employees using higher-level skills in their jobs.*”

* CBI education and skills survey 2016.

Find out more about the Growth Hub on the Swindon and Wiltshire LEP website