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Hull College has secured a contract for £3.5 million to deliver the Skills Support for the Workforce (SSW) and Local Response Fund (LRF). The project is funded by the European Social Fund ESF. The focus for the funding will be to deliver workplace learning courses across the Humber region to meet individual, employer and regional needs by up skilling the workforce.

The project will be delivered in partnership with Bishop Burton College, East Riding College, Grimsby Institute, North Lindsey College and a number of specialist providers to engage with learners and key employment sectors as identified by the Humber Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

The contract started in July 2013 and will run until July 2015. The programme is aimed at supporting employed individuals aged 19 and over in a small medium enterprise (SME). It will enhance their skills and career prospects to reduce the risk of long term unemployment and welfare dependency while boosting the local economy.

To ensure the greatest impact to local businesses and the economy, the programme will target key growth sectors in the region as defined by the Humber LEP including
Chemicals, Steel, Food Processing, Engineering, Manufacturing and Healthcare. Support will also be prioritised for key local employment growth sectors including Construction, Transport, Business Services, Health, Hotels and Catering, Retail, Financial and Business Services, Gas, Electricity and water, Paper and Publishing.

Lord Haskins, Chair of Humber Local Enterprise Partnership said: “This Skills Support for the Workforce is aimed at SMEs which play a vital role in the Humber economy and it is important that the Humber LEP supports them to grow. SMEs need to take advantage of this £3.5 million funding to up-skill their staff and I encourage all employers to make contact with their local provider about their training needs, since this is a real opportunity for their employees to gain new skills and qualifications.”

80% of all employers in the Humber area are SMEs and one of the aims of the Humber LEP is to increase the number of employers who train their staff.

The Renewable Energy sector and other developments offer companies in the Humber region unprecedented opportunities to expand and grow. It is estimated that over the next 5 years up to 22,000 jobs will be created in the region. The up-skilling of the workforce is vital in enabling existing companies to take advantage of the new opportunities that the renewable industry and its supply chain offers. The allocation of £3.5 million for Skills Support for the Workforce (SSW) will enable companies across the region to develop their staff for the short and long term needs of their companies and will contribute to making a real difference within their productivity.

The Humber Skills Support for the Workforce funded project is delivered in in partnership with the Hull College Group as prime contractor and the Humber Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP). Other colleges working in partnership are North Lindsey College, Grimsby Institute, Bishop Burton College, East Riding College along with private providers to meet the needs of the regional training priorities.