Free qualifications and training launched for SME employees in Tees Valley

Free qualifications and training launched for SME employees in Tees Valley

The Skills Support for the Workforce (SSW) programme has been developed to upskill employees in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across the Tees Valley over the next two years and is co-financed by the European Social Fund (ESF) - an EU fund to help local areas stimulate economic development through skills and job creation.

SSW will provide fully funded qualifications and training courses, tailored to help meet individual businesses’ skills needs to help increase productivity and encourage growth.

The programme will focus on delivering skills training to support the Combined Authority’s key priority sectors; Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering, Energy, Retail, Construction, Service Sector and Business Services, as well as Digital.

The training will be delivered by Calderdale College in partnership with a range of specialist, regional training providers and includes leadership and management training, team working and vocational qualifications, technical skills, as well as basic skills training including literacy and numeracy.

This funding can make a real difference to the businesses and people who live and work across the region. Significant growth is anticipated in the key sectors over the next year, creating new jobs, but many of these will require higher level technical, scientific and digital skills as well as managerial skills. At the same time there are more general skills shortages across most sectors.

This funding means Tees Valley residents are provided with the right qualifications to stay in work and access more flexible career paths whilst meeting the needs of businesses to have a workforce with multiple skill sets.

The College has already had success in the region delivering a previous Skills Support for the Workforce programme, having provided training for almost 700 businesses and helped 2,000 employees to gain new skills over the last two years. It is this success that’s led to Calderdale College securing the new multi-million-pound funding to deliver a new round of SSW in the region.

 For more information and to see if your business is eligible for fully-funded training please visit

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