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GC offers Gloucestershire businesses free training to upskill their workforce

16 June 2017

Businesses from around the county are benefiting from the chance to upskill their employees for free, thanks to the Skills Support for the Workforce (SSW) programme.

Delivered by Gloucestershire College (GC), in partnership with Serco and the Local Enterprise Partnership, the SSW programme provides training for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs), enabling them to develop and progress their workforce. The free training, which is co-financed by the European Social Fund (ESF) and the Education and Skills Funding Agency, is aimed at supporting growth in the areas related to Low Carbon or Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM), to boost the wider regional economy in Gloucestershire.

GC is part of Serco’s network of expert organisations chosen to deliver the SSW programme and since its launch in September 2016, the College has trained 80 employees from Gloucestershire businesses across five sectors. Courses have covered a variety of areas including: customer service, team leading, health and safety in the workplace, risk assessment, portable appliance testing and emergency first aid. The training partnership has also delivered more specialist training to the health and care sector in dementia and stroke awareness, safeguarding, moving safely and end of life care.

Gloucestershire based care provider, Flexicare UK Ltd, was one of the first companies to take advantage of the free training programme. Company founder and CEO, Jeanette Phillips said:

“The SSW training has been extremely useful for Flexicare UK Ltd, as the company enters its third decade in business.

“The flexibility and content of the courses has enabled us to take our own training programme to the next level, and the quality of the teaching and administration assistance from the ESF coordinators has been invaluable for the company.

“Our plan is to develop a network of hubs and ‘hublets’ throughout Gloucestershire over the next two years, which will create a blueprint for change. The health and social care training courses have been extensive and relevant to the knowledge required for the new generation of holistic community services providers.”

The next block of training courses will take place from September onwards, covering the following:

  • Award in Emergency First Aid at Work
  • Level 2 Diploma in Team Leading
  • Award in Food Safety in Catering
  • Award in Risk Assessment
  • Award in Health and Safety in the Workplace
  • Principals in Customer Service

Through this scheme, Gloucestershire College is also offering training towards NVQs in Construction, Business Administration, Hospitality, Civil Engineering, Customer Service and Health and Social Care, delivered entirely in the workplace.

Full details of forthcoming training courses are available at:

Hari Fell, Owner of Tudor Farmhouse Hotel in the Forest of Dean, is using the free training to upskill several of his staff. He said:

“We are really excited to be taking advantage of the Skills Support for the Workforce project, which will enable us as a business to meet our statutory obligations, whilst providing our staff with the opportunity for structured training.

“This will also enable them to develop themselves and become more productive in the workplace.”

The free training courses are available to Gloucestershire based businesses with less than 250 employees, operating in one of the following sectors: Engineering and Manufacturing, Construction, Health and Social Care, Retail, or Creative and Tourism. Those receiving training must be a UK resident, aged 19+ and not completing any other training programme, such as an apprenticeship.

Businesses can contact Gloucestershire College on or telephone 01452 563403 to find out more about funded training through the Skills Support for the Workforce programme.


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