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16 November 2016

Serco selected to deliver skills programme to support SMEs in Dorset

Serco’s Employment, Skills & Enterprise business has been selected by the Skills Funding Agency to deliver a new Skills Support for the Workforce (SSW) contract, providing training, to help upskill the workforce of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Dorset.

Under the 18-month programme, Serco will work in partnership with the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) to provide IT, leadership and management training, as well as run vocationally-relevant courses targeting specific areas of improvement. The overall focus is to help support growth in the following priority areas, helping to boost the wider, regional economy in Dorset:

  • Advanced engineering & manufacturing (aerospace, defence & marine technologies)
  • Other manufacturing
  • Agri-tech, food & drink
  • Creative industries (Silicon South)
  • Environmental goods & services
  • Financial services
  • Accommodation & food services
  • Public administration, education & health
  • Wholesale, retail, motor trades

As part of the SSW programme, co-funded by the European Social Fund and the Skills Funding Agency, Serco will work with a number of expert training providers to offer recognised accredited qualifications and bespoke training courses aiming to enhance employees’ skills, increase the competitiveness of local businesses and boost the local economy. 

Through SSW, eligible businesses can benefit from fully funded training, tailored to their specific needs. Fully-flexible training takes place at employees’ workplace and businesses can select full qualifications or mix and match individual units that are directly relevant to their work. Previous SSW programme participants have benefited from increased employee confidence, motivation and productivity and improved employee loyalty and retention.

Gareth Moss, Serco’s Director for Employment, Skills and Enterprise, said:

“I am delighted that Serco has been selected by the Skills Funding Agency to manage the SSW programme in Dorset, in partnership with the LEP. We have delivered the previous phase of this programme in Dorset, and are grateful that the SFA has trusted us to continue supporting local businesses to grow through upskilling their workforce.

“So far we have supported over 1,500 businesses with training for their workforce and over 6,000 employees have benefited from our service in Dorset and other areas, and we’re looking forward to working with Dorset’s LEP and our providers to enable many more to take advantage of this brilliant opportunity.”

Gordon Page, chairman of Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership, said:

"We are delighted that EU funding has been contracted to improve, develop and deliver skills training for Dorset's workforce and aid business growth.

“Skills development is a key priority for Dorset LEP particularly in our target industry sectors of advanced manufacturing, engineering, and business & financial services. We look forward to seeing the positive effects that Serco will bring to this programme on regional business growth and employment."

Serco is also delivering the SSW programme in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, Heart of the South West (Devon and Somerset), Swindon and Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, South East Midlands, Coventry and Warwickshire, Worcestershire, and Stoke and Staffordshire.


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