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Isobel Brown

SWLEP and Swindon Council to launch skills service for SMEs

Swindon Borough Council is commissioning an Employment & Skills Support Service to meet the growing need for SMEs to access local training services.

Established on behalf of Swindon & Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership, local training providers are being invited to tender for contracts.

Isobel Brown – director of partnership and programmes at SWLEP said: “Local businesses have indicated that a key barrier to growth is the ability to recruit a workforce with appropriate skills and to access flexible local training to up-skill the current workforce.

“The service will work closely with other business support services, including the Growth Hub, to support the growth of businesses by providing direct specialist skills support.

“It will also broker flexible skills solutions to meet the needs of employers and co-ordinate the collation of skills needs and gaps by sector.”

The key driver for this activity is the LEP’s Strategic Economic Plan (SEP), along with the 2014-2020 EU Strategic Investment Fund Strategy.

The SEP identifies skills as a priority theme, focusing on the need to improve higher level skills in order for businesses to compete and grow. It also indicates a need for a more unified business support service to be provided.

The scope of this resource includes the shaping of skills support in the future as part of the ‘single front door’ approach.

Companies interested in tendering for the contract to supply specialist skills support should log on to using reference SWINDON-9LZB-XH2N3T