Training and 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.

Cheshire & Warrington Accelerate Programme

Accelerate Cheshire and Warrington is a £30M programme that has been designed to support businesses to reskill and upskill their current workforce. This programme is in partnership with the University of Chester and is partly funded by the European Social Fund.

Through the Cheshire and Warrington Accelerate programme people who live or work in Cheshire and Warrington can access funding to go towards the cost of training your business needs. There is a wide range of training on offer that can specifically help individual businesses needs and goals and these can be identified through the help of one of our Skills Brokers.

Eligibility and funding options available:

To receive 100% funding – This funding is available for employees who live or work in Cheshire and Warrington for a company with under 50 members of staff.

To receive 40% funding – There is no restriction on the size of your business, but your employees must live or work within the Cheshire and Warrington area.

Examples of some of the current training courses on offer.

Find out more, apply for funded training now.

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.

Colleges and Universities

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.

The Open University Business School

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

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.

The Pledge Launch Activity Flyer

The Skills Toolkit

Lockdown has made life difficult for many of us, but if you can find the time, grab this opportunity to build up your existing skill set and discover new talents.

Digital and numeracy skills are amongst those that are most sought after by employers, and can help you progress in work and boost your job prospects.  Digital skills can be anything from using social media and staying safe online to coding, programming or digital marketing.

Find free, high quality digital and numeracy courses in The Skills Toolkit.