West Yorkshire Consortium of Colleges

Higher Performing Workplaces

Higher Performing Workplaces Image

Developing Higher Performing Workplaces in the Leeds City Region

The Higher Performing Workplaces (HPW) project provided a training and coaching package to businesses in the Leeds City Region from 2019 -2021. The West Yorkshire Consortium of Colleges worked with over 25 training providers including colleges, universities and private providers to deliver a package of part-funded training to the internal talent of businesses on the verge of growth.

Despite the pandemic, training programmes were converted into online delivery packages. The West Yorkshire Consortium of Colleges organised free digital taster sessions for businesses who wanted to get a feel for a training provider online before signing up for a qualification or programme.

The offer included four main categories,
  • Export and innovation; designed to increase in-house skills and knowledge to access new domestic and international markets to drive export.
  • Innovative working; courses that helped individuals to drive working and employment practices that support operational and employee demands.
  • Empowering leaders; programmes developed to nurture and progress leadership skills with specific activities to support female employees to narrow the gender gap in leadership positions.
  • Effective human resources: training designed to help businesses use effective HR practices to support succession planning, encourage workplace diversity and improve workplace culture.

Eligible businesses were able to access 40% ESF funding towards the cost of training and are now enjoying the benefits of developing their own staff.

For example, Bradford-based ABL Business was set to open four new offices this year due to rapid growth. The finance consultancy company accessed part-funded training as part the project. Brook Corporate Developments helped ABL to increase efficiency by implementing ISO9001. Managing Director at ABL, Alex Beardsley estimates this support will add at least 20 per cent to the firm's income.

More case studies

The project connected educators with businesses in the region and built new relationships to allow the training industry to better understand their customer base and respond to employer need.

Performing Under Pressure: How Higher Performing Workplaces made a difference in challenging times

On Thursday 10 February 2022 WYCC hosted an event to thank all involved in the Higher Performing Workplaces project for their input and hear first hand from those who benefited from the funding.

It was an opportunity to look back on how the Higher Performing Workplaces project took a journey of determination during challenging times.


  • Welcome and introduction - Joanne Harvatt, WYCC
  • Overview of project performance - Clare Harman, WYCC
  • Harlow Consulting's evaluation of Higher Performing Workplaces - Joanne McGillan, Harlow Consulting
  • Working together on marketing - Alice Wood, WYCC
  • Training provider perspective - Dom Brook, Brook Corporate Developments
  • Participant experience - Joanna Ruszczyk, Leeds Bronze
  • Participant experience - Annie Kilburn, Swallow Dental
  • Participant experience - Sonia Rhodes, Nuffield Health
  • Thank you and close - Joanne Harvatt, WYCC
WYCC Higher Performing Workplaces Final Evaluation Exec Summary 2022
WYCC Higher Performing Workplaces Final Evaluation Report 2022