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Small businesses in Dorset urged to take advantage of free training before the July 2018 deadline

Published: 5 Mar 2018

Small and medium sized enterprises across Dorset are being urged to take advantage of fully funded skills training for their workforce before the deadline to utilise the funds in July 2018.

The training is available as part of a programme named Skills Support for the Workforce (SSW), which Serco’s Employment, Skills & Enterprise business manages across Dorset and which is co-financed by the European Social Fund and the Education and Skills Funding Agency.

Serco has partnered with expert training providers to offer local businesses a range of fully-funded accredited qualifications and bespoke training courses aimed at enhancing employees’ skills and increasing the competitiveness of local businesses. 

Since the programme launch in September 2016, 1776 learners from 774 businesses in Dorset have taken advantage of the free training available. Businesses can select full qualifications or mix and match individual units that are directly relevant to their work. The courses range from a few hours’ training, to units of NVQ or other qualifications. Programme participants have benefited from increased employee confidence, motivation and productivity and improved employee loyalty and retention. 

The programme focuses on supporting businesses in the following key priority sectors:

  • Advanced Engineering & Manufacturing (Aerospace, Defence & Marine technologies)
  • Agri-tech, Food & Drink
  • Creative Industries (Silicon South)
  • Environmental Goods & Services
  • Financial Services
  • Accommodation & Food Services
  • Manufacturing
  • Public Administration, Education & Health
  • Wholesale, Retail, Motor Trades
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Gareth Moss, Serco’s Director for Employment, Skills and Enterprise, said: “It’s great that so many businesses have taken up the opportunity to gain competitive advantage through workforce development. I would urge Dorset businesses to make the most of the funding available before July so that they too can benefit from this investment in vital skills training”.

Lorna Carver, Director at Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership, said: "Investing in your people raises productivity and improves the customer experience. I strongly encourage SMEs in our key sectors to take advantage of this training opportunity." 

Businesses can contact Serco on [email protected] or visit for more details and to find out if they are eligible for funded training through Skills Support for the Workforce.

More details for employers here.


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