Property management entrepreneur, Tahira Asmat, has been keen to extend her language skills so she can develop her business. However, being able to fund training can be a challenge.
The Skills Support for the Workforce (SSW) project offers fully funded training designed to help SMEs fill skill gaps, raise productivity and boost business growth. In fact, over £5.3 million is now available for small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in Greater Manchester for training.
It is co-financed through the European Union’s European Social Fund and Skills Funding Agency and is available for SMEs seeking non-compulsory work-based training to support their business growth plan.
Research has found that employees that undertake non-compulsory work-related training do their jobs better and are more satisfied with their work but a lack of time and possible costs can act as barriers to accessing training. The Skills Support for the Workforce project is designed to address these challenges.
Fully funded training
Tahira has spent most of her life as a housewife but now, at the age of 63, she runs her own property management business. The courses in English and maths will be very helpful, Tahira explained: “The English language course has really improved my confidence, communication skills and is helping me to run my business better.
“I’m keen to expand my business and this training will help me. I’m now hoping to enrol in a course for Advanced English and Business Administration,” Tahira added.
Abid Satwilkar, Head of Learning at Manchester First, the local training provider, said: “What was different about this programme managed by Calderdale College was the emphasis on identifying business goals and objectives with the employer that would develop the company and the recognition that upskilling employees is key to this. The free aspect of the training made it very attractive to employers and as European funding will soon disappear, it is important for the Government to continue funding such initiatives which should not be seen as an expense to the taxpayer but rather an investment in the economy.”
Ebrahim Dockrat, Director of Calderdale College, prime contractor for the project highlighted the SSW benefits: “We offer a range of flexible, bespoke training plans designed to help your business grow. By training your staff you can improve your ability to adapt to a rapidly changing business environment, nurture a leadership team for the future and make you an employer of choice for emerging talent.
“As this training is funded with European money this is the last project of its kind,” added Mr Dockrat. “This funding is only available until July 2018 and so it’s a case of get it whilst you still can.”
For more information on the Skills Support for the Workforce project and to see if your business is eligible for fully funded training please visit our homepage at http://ssw.fundingunit.org.uk/