A new Skills Bank that puts employers from across Sheffield City Region in charge of their own training has been launched – Jill Theobald explains more

Employers – how do the following phrases sound to you?

‘Cutting through red tape.’

‘A new culture of flexible funding.’

‘Bespoke, tailor made training.’

Appealing? Well, a new look Skills Bank that puts employers from across the Sheffield City Region (SCR) in charge of their own skills and training by delivering all the above has been launched.

Skills Bank is a business-led programme; an innovative locally-designed solution which shows the benefits of devolving resources to local areas.

Developed by the LEP, using devolved government funding, it matches private sector investment with public funding to help businesses invest in their workforce and improve productivity.

It’s part of a wide-ranging business support offer available through the Sheffield City Region’s Growth Hub with funding available to businesses that make a strong case for how the investment will deliver growth.

The service aims to cut through red tape by ushering in a new culture of flexible public-sector funding which works with businesses to deliver bespoke, tailor made training packages for local employers so that they can create something that works for them.

As a region with some fantastic businesses and world class training facilities, including the Further Education Colleges, the National College for High Speed Rail and the University of Sheffield AMRC Training Centre. Skills Bank is another important part of Sheffield City Region’s work to build a skills system that delivers for businesses, communities and the economy.

Training is key to ensuring businesses are equipped for the future. In this region, the proportion of higher skilled, better paid jobs is lower than in areas of higher productivity and this is something that needs addressing.

As a result, future business investment will be made in locations where the relevant skill sets are available to enable a skills and employability strategy that links education to business needs. In the meantime, there is a need to support existing workforces to upskill and retrain to cover the current shortages.

Ensuring funding is available to businesses that make a strong case for how the investment will deliver growth will contribute to the LEP’s aim to boost productivity and improve the local economy.

Businesses often say that publicly funded training for businesses can be hard to access and that the system is complicated. Skills Bank and the Growth Hub 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 local economy it should be a straightforward transaction. It’s win-win.

The Growth Hub Gateway Advisors will speak to businesses and ensure they can access the right specialist whether that’s Access to Finance, Skills, Growth or an external partner service or other organisation.

Want to find out more? Visit www.scrgrowthhub.co.uk/services/skills/ and follow @SCRGrowthHub or search for Sheffield City Region Growth Hub on LinkedIn for updates.