The Employer Ownership of Skills pilot sought innovative ways to put skills funding in the hands of businesses. The pilot provided additional training funds to be used with private sector investment to aggregate demand to purchase training from multiple sources (if required). This included existing Skills Funding Agency training providers, specialist trainers in the private sector and use of private/public sector training facilities to benefit the wider sector they are servicing.
Although the project has now finished for new apprenticeship starts, it has left a significant legacy in how employers are being supported to engage with workforce development and training.
Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce’s Skills team far exceeded the Employer Ownership of Skills (EOS) apprenticeship engagement figures (across all sizes of business) by achieving 80%, compared to the national average of only 30%. In addition, 81% of the businesses that the Chamber’s team has placed apprentices with are SMEs with fewer than 250 employees and of these 39% employ fewer than 50 people.
High levels of engagement were achieved by setting up Employer Skills Groups (ESGs) for each sector. These ESGs have allowed employers to articulate their skills needs to us so we can find them the right training solution at the right price.
A new Skills Gateway service has been launched as a single point of contact for employers, where they can access a comprehensive catalogue of training provision and get support to find the most appropriate training for their business. The Skills Gateway Service is collaboration between Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Manchester Learning Provider Network, funded by ESF Skills Support for the Workforce.
The Skills Gateway Service is part of the Greater Manchester Skills Strategy and its mission is to promote the benefits that employers can gain from upskilling their staff. This new service will link investment in skills to business growth with employers as the driving force.
Louise Timperley – Head of Employment and Skills – Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce
Email – Louise.Timperley@gmchamber.co.uk