Thursday, April 18, 2019

News: Skills Bank back open for business

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A new look Skills Bank has been launched as part of a strategic aim to increase the number of high productivity jobs in the Sheffield city region (SCR).

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.

After a new procurement exercise, Skills Bank is now delivered by Calderdale College. The business led programme developed by the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) uses devolved government funding, matching private sector investment with public funding.

Part of the SCR Growth Hub offer to businesses, funding is available to businesses that make a strong case for how the investment will deliver growth. The service aims to cut through red tape to enable firms to access bespoke, tailor made training.

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Dan Jarvis, mayor of the Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield Combined Authority, said: "We're a region that has some fantastic businesses and world class training facilities, including our Further Education Colleges, the National College for High Speed Rail and the University of Sheffield AMRC Training Centre. The Sheffield City Region Skills Bank is another important part of our work to build a skills system that delivers for businesses, communities and the economy.

"Skills Bank is an example of an innovative locally designed solution and shows the benefits of devolving resources to local areas."

James Muir, chair of the Sheffield City Region LEP, added: "Businesses tell us that publicly funded training for businesses can be hard to access and that the system is complicated. Skills Bank and our advisors can help businesses cut through this. This is good for the region, good for the profitability of businesses and helps grow the skills of our workforce.

"So long as a business can show that it helps boost productivity and grow our economy it should be a straightforward transaction. It's win-win. I'm absolutely delighted that it has gone live."

Ebrahim Dockrat, director of commercial services and partnerships at Calderdale College, said: "Skills Bank is a fantastic initiative for Sheffield City Region and we are thrilled to be in a position where we can support local businesses.

"Our focus will be on helping employers develop the skills they need to grow their business and 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."

SCR Growth Hub website

Images: SCR Growth Hub

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