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Educators join forces to offer businesses help with skills

Calderdale College is working in partnership with six other colleges, Go Higher West Yorkshire and the Textile Centre of Excellence to give businesses a simple way to access funded training and advice.

As part of the West Yorkshire Consortium of Colleges’ Let’s Talk Real Skills project, the colleges and educators are offering SMEs in the Leeds City Region a free ‘Skills Plan’ service.

A Skills Plan can help businesses to establish their training needs and access funding or support that can help them achieve their ambitions. Skills Plan sessions are short, one-to-one meetings with an impartial skills associate or advisor from one of the training providers.

The new online enquiry service provides a simple gateway to book a session with one of the region’s leading training providers and allows businesses to access the training they need.

Many businesses have already benefited from a Skills Plan and have made crucial relationships with contacts who have helped make the most of their training budgets.

Projects Director at the West Yorkshire Consortium of Colleges Joanne Patrickson said:

“It is important for businesses to have a simple method to get in touch with us, or one of our partners. Booking a Skills Plan is a great way to make that first point of contact so we can understand the skills needs and link the business to the right funding or opportunity.


"The engagement we have with businesses also provides us with the insight to develop future, collaborative skills programmes in the region."

“Each of our partners have a dedicated business engagement team who carry out the Skills Plans. We find that these sessions often develop into long-term relationships and businesses will come back for support and advice over many years.”

Nicola Hudson, Head of Employer Services at Calderdale College commented:

“We are excited to be working together with other education providers to support our local businesses with their skills needs. Calderdale College has helped businesses from across the district to address and identify the need for new skills provision across their current and future skills needs.

“Through collaborative working with local employers we are able to help ensure businesses survive and grow to thrive by delivering tailored training and skills funding advice. We are absolutely committed to helping local employers meet their full potential through accessing skills. By working together, we can upskill, re-skill and shape skills to build a secure tomorrow.”

Businesses in the Leeds City Region can request a free Skills Plan here:  Choose from Bradford College, Calderdale College, Go Higher West Yorkshire, Kirklees College, Leeds City College, Leeds College of Building, Shipley College, the Textile Centre of Excellence, Wakefield College or the West Yorkshire Consortium of Colleges.

Let’s Talk Real Skills is managed by the West Yorkshire Consortium of Colleges and funded by the European Social Fund. To be eligible, businesses must be an SME (under 250 employees) based in one of the following districts: Bradford, Calderdale, Craven, Harrogate, Kirklees, Leeds, Selby, Wakefield or York.