The key aims of the Workforce for the Future programme is to create a skills system that is accessible and easy to navigate for micro, small and medium sized enterprises, SMEs, long after the programme has been delivered; for businesses to have increased confidence to feel more empowered to make the right decisions for their business around skills and training; and knowing where to go to get the right impartial support or intervention.
In turn, it is also envisaged that the programme will lead to training providers, operating in the region, to have greater confidence and knowledge to work more closely with SMEs to ensure an increased relevant and responsive skills system and offer.
In order to achieve this it is crucial that SMEs engage with the programme to amongst other things outline what:
- skills shortages, both current and future, are being faced
- aspects of the skills system that are confusing or which could be changed to help SMEs better engage
This information will be used by organisations who are delivering projects under the programme to implement and deliver improvements to the skills system that will be long lasting and sustainable.
Benefits of the programme
SMEs can be involved in the programme’s delivery and benefit in a number of ways:
- Workforce Development Planning – some projects that are delivered will look to work with SMEs and support them in developing and planning their current and future workforce needs
- Skills Requirements – as the programme aims to create better linkages between SMEs and skills providers, it will become easier to communicate the skills needs of your business and ensure that training delivered in schools, colleges and training providers is in the areas it needs to be
- Workforce Resource Pool – some projects that are delivered will help save SMEs time and effort in identify what type of workforce placement (internship, apprenticeship, graduate placement, work experience etc) could benefit your SME and where and when it is best to access this workforce pool
How to get involved
We are looking for SMEs whose business operates predominantly in the West of England (we appreciate there may be offices nationally) and who employ no more than 250 employees and have an annual turnover not exceeding EUR 50 million / an annual balance sheet not exceeding EUR 43 million. Ideally, SMEs will be from the following sectors, though this is not an exclusive or exhaustive list:
- Digital and creative
- Construction and high-tech
- Logistics and manufacturing
- Retail and hospitality and catering
- Health care
- Professional services – to develop an entry level pathway
We are looking to create a ‘Backbone Service’ which will amongst other things act as a signposting service for both SMEs and training providers. If you don’t already have links to any councils, training providers, colleges, schools etc who may be involved in delivering a project in the West of England area (Bath and North East Somerset, Bristol City Council, North Somerset Council, South Gloucestershire Council) you should contact this service.
We are looking to confirm the organisation(s) to deliver the Backbone service during February through to May 2020, once confirmed details will be provided here.
In the meantime you can email your interest to – email@example.com