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Skills and Enterprise Minister Matthew Hancock today (30 April 2014) unveiled £25 million of additional support for businesses to take the lead in improving training for new and current employees.
Speaking at a UK Commission for Employment and Skills Investment Showcase, the Minister pledged to support businesses in the automotive sector supply chain with £20 million to fund training. This marks the next development in support of employer ownership, making sure skills support meets the needs of business. He also announced the successful bidders in the next phase of Employer Ownership Pilot (EOP) funding as well as unveiling what previous winners have chosen to invest their funding on.
The £20 million fund for the automotive sector supply chain will support the skills essential for the continued growth of the automotive sector. From next week, businesses in the sector will be able to submit proposals in order to access funding and address skills shortages. Businesses can submit their proposals from 6 May 2014 and the offer will be open for 12 weeks.
Skills and Enterprise Minister Matthew Hancock said:
Our goal is to bring employment and education closer together, to deliver the skills employers need. This straight forward, flexible employer ownership fund will allow employers in the supply chain to develop their skills so they can take advantage of significant growth opportunities in the sector. By having a highly skilled workforce, companies will be able to grow and meet the imminent and longer-term needs of automotive manufacturing companies.
In addition to this, further successful bidders for the EOP fund have been announced. Under this scheme, employers combine their own money with government funding, to invest in the training they need. Three companies have received £5.2 million between them to fund schemes in their area.
The first of these is Blackpool Pleasure Beach. Their project will address the need to improve the quality of the skills in the tourism sector locally, with a new Tourism Apprenticeship framework, which will be owned and developed by employers. The aim is to deliver 100 new apprenticeship places at tourism businesses in Blackpool.
The second successful bidder is Kostal (UK) Ltd. They will use the funding to address the skills needs identified by employers in the Advanced Manufacturing & Engineering sector in the Sheffield City Region. The project will be run by a board, chaired by Kostal (UK) Ltd, and made up of a number of employers from the City Region.
The third successful bidder was Freedom Communications. They will be using the EOP funding to address a skills need within the unified communications (UC) sector. The project will deliver end to end skills development through working in partnership with schools and Further Education to engage early with learners to guide, support and motivate them to progress an apprenticeship in next generation technologies. Through the creation of a bespoke UC Higher Apprentice scheme, Freedom will deliver a sustainable talent pipeline increasing the availability of high end UC skills in the market.
Matthew Hancock added:
Under this scheme, employers combine their own money with government funding, to invest in the training they need. It’s simple, direct, and focussed. We’ve learnt a lot from the first rounds of funding about how to support employers, some sectors have specialist skills and it is these companies that know their training needs best. By providing them with the funding, they can build training schemes around their requirements.
The Minister went on to announce successes from the last year’s successfulEOP bidders. National Grid, Everton Football Club, Rogers Restorations and Costain have pledged to create a total of 5,000 traineeships, which will be funded by EOP.
Matthew Hancock this week welcomed his own Trainee to his Parliamentary Office as part of the new Parliamentary Traineeship Scheme. Yusuf Khan will complete a 12 week Traineeship where he will gain work experience and work towards qualifications to help give him the right skills to gain future employment. Traineeships were created in August 2013 to help young people gain the skills and vital experience they need to get an Apprenticeship or other job. They comprise work preparation training, maths and English training and work experience with an employer.