A leading West Midlands training provider has been appointed as a key delivery partner to the £12m Supplier Skills Programme (SSP).
Specialist apprenticeships & engineering training provider In-Comm Training will work on the Birmingham City Council-backed project to help upskill 800 individuals across Birmingham, Bromsgrove, Redditch, Solihull and Wyre Forest by offering access to specialist training that will help SMEs make the most of the post-pandemic bounce back and grow the local economy.
Funded by the European Social Fund (ESF), the initiative will provide grants for half the total cost of the training, starting with grants of £500 and increasing to a maximum of £18,000.
Up to 200 local firms can put employers through one of the 36 accredited courses, covering anything from quality, IOSH, toolmaking and leadership and management to mechatronics and robotics.
Training, which ranges from basic level right up to the equivalent of a degree, will be carried out at the employer’s site or at In-Comm Training’s state-of-the-art technical academy in the Black Country.
“The Supplier Skills Programme is a fantastic opportunity for companies to bridge skills gaps, build capacity in their workforce and futureproof talent for years to come,” explained Gareth Jones, Managing Director at In-Comm Training.
“Covid-19 has placed significant pressure on SMEs and this initiative helps ease some of the financial burden on them, especially as many of them look to identify the skills they require to grow again.”
He went on to add: “In-Comm has been allocated over £400,000 of dedicated funding and the beauty of SSP is its flexibility. The employer can access the level of training they need whether that’s at a basic starter course right through to more technically advanced ones.
“There is a special focus on priority sectors for the region, including advanced manufacturing, digital and creative, life and health sciences, professional services and low carbon and environmental technologies.”
In-Comm Training was selected by Birmingham City Council due to its track record for delivering support to more than 750 different companies every year.
The employer-led approach will boost engagement levels for SSP across five key areas, with eligible firms able to also maximise the host of different technology currently available at the technical academy in Aldridge.
This includes CNC machinery, welding, fluid control, metrology, additive manufacturing and outstanding design capabilities, not to mention the expertise of a team of 20 industry-leading trainers.
Mohammed Zahir, Head of Business Enterprise and Innovation at Birmingham City Council, said: “The beauty of SSP is its uniqueness. No other grant programme offers as much flexibility – it can support employees with basic skills training, right through to post graduate level qualifications. This means that employees at all levels of an organisation can benefit.”
Gareth Jones concluded: “There’s lots of demand and there’s lots of positivity in the West Midlands, we just need to make sure SMEs can use SSP to utilise the right training to help them overcome supply chain disruption and significant recruitment issues.
“And it can’t be easier for firms. Our experts will talk you through the options, asses your eligibility and then identify the right courses for your staff. Just come forward and talk to us.”