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Workforce for the Future and businesses 

Workforce for the Future and businesses  2020-11-04T10:33:58+00:00


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: 

  1. Workforce Development Planningsome projects that are delivered will look to work with SMEs and support them in developing and planning their current and future workforce needs 
  1. Skills Requirementsas 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 
  1. 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
  • Aerospace
  • Construction and high-tech
  • Logistics and manufacturing
  • Retail and hospitality and catering
  • Health care
  • Professional services

We have created a Core Delivery Service to provide support to SMEs across a number of areas, these are detailed below.  If you would like to find out more or receive support from one or more of these support services please email workforceforthefuture@westofengland-ca.gov.uk

Core Delivery Services – support services available to SMEs:

Pre-redundancy support – helping SMEs identify and consider options to retain their employees and talent within the business

Skills needs analysis and workforce development planning – helping SMEs to understand the skills needed for their business post Covid-19 and more longer term and how to access the skills, talent and training

Digital skills – establishing the level of digital skills within a business and identifying what additional digital skills a business’s employees may need to help the business achieve its goals

Apprenticeships – support to understand the apprenticeship levy system, how to access finance and talent and ready a business and apprentice to start a placement

Access to talent – a collaboration between all four colleges in the region this support service will give a business access to talent/workforce in some of the key sectors for the region as well as giving SMEs an opportunity to influence curricula to ensure learners have the skills a business needs

School Engagement – providing an opportunity for SMEs to engage with the future talent pipeline to communicate a business/sector’s skills needs and ensure that skills gaps and hard to fill vacancies are reduced whilst creating a link between careers and education