Skills

To support yor business growth and remain competitive in an ever chaning and challenging business environment it is essential to invest time in staff development.

Upskills existing staff is an alternative to looking for new staff and most employees relish being challenged to develop and grow their skill set and role.

There are different ways to deliver staff development:

  • On the job training - this allows employees to learn the skills they need in real circumstances faced by the business.
  • Workshops and seminars - there are a number taking place locally that might be helpful as part of your staff development plan: Cheshire & Warrington Growth Hub Events page; Let's Talk Business Events page.
  • If appropriate, consider joining a professional body for your sector as many set and assess professional examinations and allow staff to keep their professional development continuous.
  • If you're an employer with a pay bill over £3 million each year, you must pay the apprenticeship levy from 6 April 2017.  Think about using this levy to upskill your staff.  Find out more about what you can buy with your levy.  If you don't pay the levy you won't be able to use the apprenticeship service to pay for apprenticeship training and assessment until at least mid-2019.  However, there is guidance for non-levy paying employers.

Employment and skills research papers.

There are many ways businesses can access and influence the workforce of the future and upskill and support existing staff through a number of projects and opportunities; a number of these are listed in the links below.

The Pledge Cheshire & Warrington

The Pledge Partnership puts employers at the heart of inspiring, informing and communicating with the next generation of employees in Cheshire and Warrington.

The Pledge Partnership enables businesses to work together with educators to provide every young person living, studying and/or working in Cheshire and Warrington with everything they need to succeed in the world of work. With the opportunity to develop employability-related skills and personal qualities whilst in education, there is a choice of employment, training or further education when they leave school.

Employers can work directly with young people, teachers, parents, carers and youth workers to help the local community identify the employment opportunities available.

Digital Skills Partnership

The Digital Skills Partnership is a group of employers and other organisation who recognise the growing importance of digital skills to all the businesses and residents of Cheshire and Warrington.

  • The Partnership focuses two priorities of the skills and education action plan:
    Businesses being at the heart of inspiring and informing young people about new technologies and career opportunities so they make informed decisions about the training and education that they choose; and
  • Businesses working together with training providers to improve the quality of training available to employees and individual learners who want to acquire the digital skills they need for work or to function in an increasingly digital age.

Cheshire & Warrington Business Growth Programme

The Cheshire and Warrington Business Growth programme provides fully funded support for local:

  • Pre-start: Entrepreneurs looking to start a business
  • New start-up: Trading less than 42 months
  • SME: Small and medium-sized enterprises trading over 42 months

The programme supports businesses to access the expertise and knowledge that currently exists across the region from the relevant delivery partner to help develop your skills and grow your business.

ERDF Workspace and Business Support Project

Fully funded 121 business support available from specialist business advisers.

Cheshire West and Chester Council launched a new ERDF Workspace and Business Support Project in September 2016 aimed at SME (small and medium sized enterprises) businesses (employing less than 250) across the Cheshire West area.

The project is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and supports businesses to access:
• One-to-one business support from specialist advisers and industry experts
• New BREEAM Excellent (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) workspace

Activities within the project include creative new ways to do business, alongside ways to save money and use time more effectively.

Contact the Cheshire West and Chester Council's Business Growth Team to learn more and find out if your business is eligible - business@cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk.

Colleges and Universities

The Open University Business School

The Open University Business School delivers transformational, high quality business and management education which is quality assured.

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