Nottingham Trent University will lead the delivery of two new projects part-funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) to benefit businesses across Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire (D2N2).
NTU successfully led a joint bid for £3m of ESF funding for the two projects which will be targeted at SMEs and their employees. They will focus on the development of skills in leadership and management, and STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths). The projects will also be bolstered by the same amount in match funding by delivery partners.
The new projects will form part of the High Level Skills programme which has provided support to over 700 businesses and 1,500 individuals working for SMEs to access graduate talent, higher and degree apprenticeships, and high level vocational training and skills since 2018.
The Smart and Inclusive Leadership (SAIL) project will provide SMEs with the leadership and management skills needed to drive productivity, growth and competitiveness through qualifications from basic skills through to advanced levels of accredited higher education.
The Branch out in STEM project will support the development of employees with the skills to thrive in their industry, helping to develop more productive and competitive businesses with the ability to take advantage of new and emerging technologies.
Courses range from Level 1, with bespoke learning developed to help meet specific business needs, through to accredited courses up to Level 7. Coaching and mentoring to support career development will also be available.
The projects will be delivered by a consortium of higher education, further education and third sector organisations. Led by Nottingham Trent University, delivery partners also include the University of Derby, Derby College, Nottingham College, East Midlands Chamber of Commerce, Enable, and the Workers’ Educational Association.
The D2N2 Growth Hub, the Federation of Small Businesses, the Institute of Directors, and Nottingham City Council will continue to be strategic partners within the extended High Level Skills programme, helping to promote the project and engage participants from eligible businesses.
Professor Nigel Wright, Deputy Vice-Chancellor – Research and Enterprise at NTU said: “These new projects continue our highly successful ongoing support for local businesses and will provide fantastic opportunities for businesses to upskill their employees through vocational training.
“We’re delighted to be able to continue this great work through the collaboration with our delivery partners.”
Both projects will encourage participation of people underrepresented in both leadership and management and STEM. This includes, but is not limited to; women, BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) groups, disabled people, people living in a single adult household with dependent children, and people without basic skills qualifications.