Event marks launch of multi million pound plan to boost jobs and skills

Published 6th March 2013 at 7:06pm

Sheffield City Region will this week officially launch its ambitious £77.3 million plan to boost skills and create thousands of new apprenticeships and other training opportunities.

The Skills Made Easy programme will be launched at an eventon Friday 8 March when Financial Secretary to the Treasury Rt Hon Greg Clark MP has been invited to be the keynote speaker.

Employers, key stakeholders and local leaders will meet to hear how the Skills Made Easy Programme aims to create 4,000 new apprenticeships and courses to up-skill more than 2,000 adults.

The programme’s essential aims are to put businesses in the driving seat to secure the training programmes and apprenticeships they want.

It has already established a skills for growth partnership – accountable to the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) – where businesses will decide where cash can be best spent on training to boost the local economy.

Also in the pipeline as part of this three year skills spending plan is an apprenticeship and skills hub where trained account managers will specifically work with employers and colleges. The staff will build contracts with employers, procure the services of providers, process training funds and manage funding streams for apprenticeship schemes.

The multi million pound skills programme comes as part of the Government’s flagship City Deal  plan to devolve to City Regions the control of national funding at a local level.

Under the ‘City Deal’, Sheffield City Region will see more than £77m over the next three years -made up of monies from a host of bodies including local authorities and the Government to boost skills and increase jobs – and up to £500 million of transport funding could be invested in the City Region to be centred on new business developments.

Nigel Brewster, LEP Board Member and Private Sector Skills Lead, said:

“This important event launches one of the country’s most significant skills programmes which devolves almost £30 million from Whitehall to Sheffield City Region.

“The Skills Made Easy programme will ensure small and medium sized businesses can access financial support for apprenticeships and accredited training.

“Business leaders will work closely with councils and education providers to ensure that our workforce has the skills that Sheffield City Region businesses need for future growth and economic success.”

For more information on Skills Made Easy, call 0114 2296183 or visit www.sheffieldcityregion.org.uk/skills-made-easy

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