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Successful year for multi-million pound training project

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Published on 05 October 2022

North East Workforce Skills consortium partners
North East Workforce Skills consortium partners

The North East Workforce Skills Programme, worth up to £15million, is aimed at levelling up workforce skills to support over 17,500 employees across the Tyne and Wear and Northumberland area, by September 2023.

The programme has been providing employers with the tools to upskill their workforce through a wide range of training programmes. Delivered by a consortium of Further and Higher Education providers in the north-east and led by the University of Sunderland, the trainers include: Access Training Limited, MTC Training, Newcastle College Group, SETA, Code and TDR Training.

Tim Pain, Assistant Director, Enterprise and Innovation at the University of Sunderland, said: “The ESF North East Workforce Skills programme has just completed its first year and the programme has gone from strength to strength. We have engaged with more than 250 employers and supported 2,000 individuals, due to the flexibility and collaboration of the partners we are really supporting businesses in the north-east to upskill their employees and aid progression."

Employers can utilise the ESF funding to address CPD requirements within their business up to a maximum of €200,000 over a three-year period if private sector, and with no limit if public sector. Levy paying employers have provided the Match Funding to support the ESF contract, this ensures that the programme can be accessed by all employers.

Consortium partners are offering a range of training from basic skills to Level 7 both accredited and non-accredited. Courses include Business Support, Digital and Technology, Engineering, Leadership and Management, Education and Healthcare.

Employers who have benefitted from the training packages so far have included Believe Housing, Biddick Academy, Draegar Safety Uk Ltd, Fulwell Medical Practice, Kasai UK Ltd , Seaward Electronics and Nexus to name but a few.

Phil Wood, Vice-President of Marelli, a developer and manufacturer of components for the automotive industry, accessed the University of Sunderland’s Menopause in the Workplace course, and said “It would be difficult to overstate the impact the programme has already had.

“It has been unbelievable. Menopause has instantly become a thing that people talk about in our workplace. We are now in the process of putting together a policy to dictate how we will deal with menopause – but rather than a management top-down approach we really want to get everyone involved and give everyone a voice to put it together.”

International manufacturing company Miller UK Ltd have worked with Access Training to develop their employees. Anne Jermy, Human Resource Manager, said: “We have accessed a range of courses, including Leading Teams & Managing Performance, which was delivered as a bespoke session to Miller and attended by most of our Team Leaders and middle managers.

“The way the training was delivered was such a success that we asked Access Training to deliver Team Leading/Supervisor Level 3 Apprenticeship and ten employees have enrolled on this apprenticeship with Access Training, which has formed the basis for our internal management development program.” 

Training providers are also delighted with the success of the programme.

Li Xue, CEO at TDR Training Ltd, said: “We recognise the growing need to adapt and upskill the workforce to meet new market challenges. We are proud of the impact we are making on people and companies in the region and expect to launch more tailored training and development solutions from September 2022.”

Robin Lockwood, CEO Seta, added: “The programme delivered by Seta has already done a great job in upskilling hundreds of employees, in both accredited and non-accredited courses. Overall, the programme is helping to develop and strengthen the north-east’s skills base in a plethora of subject areas.

“With the programme running for another 12 months there is scope for many more employers and employees to take advantage of it, at no cost to them.”

To find out how your business can benefit from workforce development and training, go to: www.northeastworkforceskills.co.uk or email neworkforceskills@sunderland.ac.uk