West Yorkshire Consortium of Colleges

5 October 2015

150 Businesses Benefit From £500,000 LEP skills service Funding Support

Over 150 businesses have benefitted from funded training through the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP). More than £500,000 has now been awarded to businesses to invest in skills, enabling them to maximise their training budget and support their staff development.

The LEP’s recent business survey revealed that 74% of businesses have identified skills gaps in their workforce, demonstrating the importance of investing in training for current employees to stimulate growth. From the investment, some organisations have trained over 40 employees with leadership and management courses proving popular to improving performance and enabling staff to move into higher level roles. 

More specialist training requests have also been supported including parametric modelling, which involves using the computer to design objects by modelling their components with real-world behaviours and attributes. Companies are also taking the opportunity to learn Russian, Swedish and Italian, with potential to expand their business overseas and tap into the export market.

One business benefitting from the support is Blueberry Marketing Solutions, a business-to-business telemarketing agency in Leeds who have taken advantage of the skills offer from the LEP. Working with advisors to construct a complete training package for their organisation. The training included sales and marketing, leadership and management, PRINCE2 and a Chartered Institute of Marketing qualification.

Managing Director of Blueberry Marketing Solutions, Faresh Maisuria explained:

“What’s been really pleasing for us is that we had a specific budget in place to run training this year already – and so the skills service has simply allowed us to increase both the frequency and numbers of staff being trained.

“The skills service allows businesses to really take control of their skills gaps by upskilling existing staff of any age and any previous qualifications. It has helped to make training accessible offering employees a well-defined development road map which will have a positive impact on our continued business growth.”

Board Chair and skills lead, Mark Ridgway OBE DL, of Group Rhodes said:

“With grants of between £500 and £50,000 available to businesses with a budget to put towards training, employers have the opportunity to work with a team of expert skills advisors, discuss their long term growth plans and skills needs, and put together a robust training plan for their staff.

“Offering a comprehensive service to businesses, the team of advisors support employers to tackle paperwork, source appropriate training provision and submit an application for funding. The LEP are dedicated to ensuring local businesses primed for growth have the skills to succeed.”

The £13.9 million funding is available to eligible small and medium sized businesses within Leeds City Region and available until March 2017 and businesses are encouraged to contact the LEP to find out how they could benefit.

The LEP skills service is delivered by a consortium, which is made up of Calderdale College, Leeds City College, West and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce and Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce and Industry on behalf of the West Yorkshire Consortium of Colleges. It has been partly supported by HM Government with Employer Ownership funding.

Do you want to find out more about how the LEP skills service could help your business? Find out more and apply for funding by visiting: www.the-lep.com/skillsservice or contact one of our experienced skills advisors: skills@the-lep.com or 0113 386 1910.