Thursday, February 14, 2019

News: Skills Bank back to boost SCR businesses


The Skills Bank is returning to the Sheffield city region (SCR) to enable more businesses to tap into funding to upskill their workforce and grow their company.

The Skills Bank was designed to give employers greater purchasing power and control in how Government funded training is accessed. The aim is to create a demand-led skills system and encourage companies to co-invest in skills support for their own employees. It stems from a strategic aim to increase the number of high productivity jobs in the SCR.

Rothbiz reported last year that contracting was underway after the first phase of the scheme came to an end in March 2018.

Calderdale College has been named as the managing agent following the award of the £5.4m contract via the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA). Multinational professional services company, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC) were the managing agent for the first phase.

The college will work closely with SCR's Growth Hub team to manage the funding and support local organisations to access bespoke training that responds directly to their needs and supports growth in their organisation.


James Muir, chair of the SCR LEP, said: "Sheffield city region has an economy of more than £33bn, which has already grown by £1.34 billion between 2013 and 2015.

"Our target as a LEP is to further grow our region's economy by 10% (£3.1 billion) before 2024 – and we are well on track to achieve these ambitions.

"Skills Bank is absolutely key to growing our region's businesses, particularly SMEs. I’m therefore delighted to see that Calderdale College has been appointed, and that the next phase of Skills Bank is soon to launch.

"As well as enabling people to advance their careers, upskilling workers means increased productivity and ultimately more jobs and economic growth for the region as a whole – securing our position as a highly attractive place to start up, locate and invest."

Ebrahim Dockrat, director of commercial services and partnerships at Calderdale College, added: "Skills Bank is a huge initiative for Sheffield city region and we are thrilled to be appointed as the managing agent.

"At Calderdale College, our focus is on helping employers develop the skills they need to grow their business and this programme will do exactly that. We bring a huge amount of expertise from our many years of working closely with the Education and Skills Funding Agency on major funded training programmes. I'm pleased that we can add Skills Bank to our portfolio and look forward to the next phase."

SCR Growth Hub website

Images: Sheffield University


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