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Serco selected to deliver skills programme to support SMEs

Published: 19 Jun 2019

Serco’s Employment, Skills & Enterprise business has been selected by the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) to deliver 17 new local Skills Support for the Workforce (SSW) contracts, providing training, to help upskill the workforce of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). Under these contracts, Serco will provide support in regions of England including: Black Country; Coventry & Warwickshire; Derby & Derbyshire; Dorset; Greater Birmingham & Solihull; Greater Cambridge & Greater Peterborough; Heart of the South West; Hertfordshire; Leicester & Leicestershire; Northamptonshire, Nottingham & Nottinghamshire; South East Midlands; Stoke on Trent & Staffordshire; Swindon & Wiltshire; West of England; and, Worcestershire.

Under the 28-month programme, with a total contract value of just over £60m, Serco will work in partnership with Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) to provide skills development for SMEs focused on upskilling employees in key priority sectors or subject areas in line with the economic development strategies identified by each LEP.

As part of the SSW programme, co-financed by the European Social Fund and ESFA, Serco will work with a number of local expert training providers to offer recognised accredited qualifications and bespoke training courses aiming to enhance employees’ skills, increase the competitiveness of local businesses and boost the local economy. As prime contractor, Serco will establish networks of the very best local training providers to meet the local requirements and provide the logistics and performance management structures required to deliver these contracts. Serco holds the Merlin Standard from the Department of Work and Pensions, rated as ‘Good’, for our experience and expertise in establishing and managing complex supply chains.

Through SSW, eligible businesses can benefit from funded training, tailored to their specific needs. Training is flexible and businesses can select full qualifications or mix and match individual units that are directly relevant to their work. Previous SSW programme participants have benefited from increased employee confidence, motivation and productivity and improved employee loyalty and retention.

Colm Croskery, Head of Employment, Skills and Enterprise at Serco, said:

“I am delighted that Serco has been selected to continue managing SSW programmes and in an increased number of regions, in partnership with the LEPs.

“We have a strong track record in this area, having previously delivered this programme in nine regions of England and our success in being selected for additional regions is testament to the quality of our team’s knowledge and expertise and that of our partner providers. Under the previous SSW programmes we have already supported more than 20,000 learners with more than 7000 businesses benefitting from this important service.

“We will work closely with our LEP partners to deliver against their strategic priorities in this new phase and we look forward to enabling many more businesses to take advantage of SSW training to upskill their employees and grow their businesses.”

Businesses can visit Serco’s SSW website to find out more about the training available in their region at  and can also contact Serco on [email protected] for more details, and to find out if they are eligible for funded training through Skills Support for the Workforce.