Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in Dorset are urged to take advantage of a £4.5m skills training pot for their workforce, as a result of a contract extension.

The training is delivered as part of a programme called Skills Support for the Workforce (SSW), which Serco’s Employment, Skills & Enterprise business is managing across Dorset.

SInce the programme was launched in September 2016m 2,227 learners from 759 businesses have taken advantage of the funded training available. Serco has just been awarded a contract extension to continue delivery of the programme until March 2019, at which point the funding will come to an end.

To deliver the programme, which is co-funded by the European Social Fund and the Education and Skills Funding Agency, Serco has partnered with expert training organisations to offer local businesses recognised accredited qualifications and bespoke training courses aiming to enhance employees skills and increase the competitiveness of the business.

Case Study – Provider Best Training

Celebration Crackers Ltd is a progressively growing Dorset based Company, with a team of unrivalled cultural diversity, employing over 30 local people. As a design led manufacturer, it produces high quality and bespoke Crackers which are sold both nationally and internationally.  Celebration Crackers received fully funded training from Skills Support from the Workforce through Best Training, one of Serco’s chosen training providers. They have received a wide range of training from personality profiling workshops delivered to the whole company at an away day to small group Excel training, Fire Marshall training and more recently leadership qualifications for eight heads of departments and directors.

Jo Neil, HR and Staff Development Manager – Celebration Crackers Ltd said, “The variety and scope of training we have been able to access through Skills Support for the Workforce has been fantastic. As a small (but growing) company we have been able to benefit from some targeted employee training and progression, which has also afforded us the opportunity to mix departments and cross develop our staff.  The holistic approach to continue professional development has been widely appreciated across the business.  On a personal level I have the Leadership training to be invaluable.”

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