Skip to Content

Support for your workforce

Workforce development

Skills Support for the Workforce in the West of England – Funded Training to Help your Business Grow

The Skills Support for the Workforce programme (SSW) helps support small & medium businesses in the West of England to upskill their employees with training courses & qualifications to help their business grow and boost the local economy.

We can work with you to develop a bespoke training programme relevant to your business needs, and as the SSW programme is co-financed by the European Social Fund (ESF) and the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA), a wide range of training can be accessed at no cost* to your business.  *subject to eligibility

We have a network of expert training providers who can deliver 100s of fully funded and accredited training courses covering a range of subjects such as: IT & Digital Skills, Leadership and Management, Engineering, Manufacturing, Construction, Health and Social care, Customer Service, Business Administration, and many more.

What’s on offer?

    • A training needs analysis for your business, identifying the skills your team need to support your business goals
    • On-the-job vocational training to meet individual and business needs including taught learning, workplace assessment, distance learning and online learning
    • Recognised accredited qualifications and training courses to support employees to upskill or even learn new skills
    • Progression pathways for your employees enabling them to take on more responsibilities and move up in your organisation, or progress onto higher level qualifications and apprenticeships

How could you benefit?

    • A more efficient business with improved profitability
    • A highly skilled and engaged workforce with up-to-date skills
    • Improved staff morale and motivation, therefore reducing staff turnover
    • Become an ‘Employer of Choice’ which will improve your business’ image and attract new talent
    • Competitive advantage in your marketplace and improved chances of winning new business

We also offer support to business owners facing the prospect of making hard decisions about redundancy, and to individuals who have recently been made redundant through the Skills Support for Redundancy programme. Contact the team for more information or visit our website.

If you want to enhance your business performance, improve profitability or simply invest in your employees’ personal development, get in touch today:

North Somerset Economic Development function  

North Somerset Economic Development team can provide impartial skills advice, guidance and recruitment support, free of charge.

Contact the Employment and Skills team at

West of England Growth Hub 

Fully funded 1-2-1 business support for SME’s and scale up businesses.
The team of Enterprise Executives will assess your needs, share a wide range of services and help to support your business

Workforce for the Future  

The programme provided by West of England Combined Authority is designed to support SMEs with skills shortages and skills needs

Wellbeing and organisational support for your workforce

Thrive at Work west of England

Mental health support for the workforce developed by West of England Combined Authority

Employers for carers

North Somerset Council supports working carers, and is an active member of Carers UK’s business forum. Find out more about how can you support your employees with caring responsibilities here EfC digital leaflet_01

Disability Confident 

North Somerset Council has a Disability Confident Leader status. This enables us to draw from the widest possible pool of talent, and secure, retain and develop disabled staff who are skilled, loyal and hardworking. Find out more on how to become a Disability Confident Employer here

Support with redundancies

Free service, open to all businesses in North Somerset at risk of making redundancies

  • Business support interventions aiding diversification, increasing productivity and resilience
  • Support with workforce planning and skills needs analysis
  • Access to a talent retention platform, helping with recruitment
  • Bespoke, accredited, funded training for both employers and employees
  • Higher-level skills development including leadership & management and supervisory skills training

Benefits for Businesses

  • Increased workforce skills levels, improving performance and profitability
  • Competitive advantage in the marketplace and improved chance of winning new business
  • Improved staff satisfaction and motivation, reducing staff turnover
  • A wider appeal to new recruits

By engaging with the service, business will be able to access free information, advice and guidance on their responsibilities as an employer and support their workforce through the redundancy process, helping them to be able to secure alternative employment and receive information, advice and guidance on running a redundancy process. Business will also be able to access support with restructuring after the redundancy exercise has taken place.

Skills Support for Redundancies – Funded, tailored training to support individuals and businesses

Skills Support for Redundancy (SSR) is an initiative designed to support employers and individuals affected by redundancy. SSR is a tailored service to meet your needs, offering a wide range of training support. A dedicated Partnership Coordinator will work with you to identify the best sources of support and training to help you upskill or retrain and get back into the workforce.

A wide range of training is on offer through our network of expert training providers including: IT & digital skills, Team leading & project management, Warehousing and storage, Construction, Health and social care, Customer service, Business administration, Communication, Starting your own business, and many more.

The SSR programme is co-financed by the European Social Fund (ESF) and the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA), so the support can be accessed at no cost* to the business or individual.  *subject to eligibility

Get in touch today:

Job Centre Plus Rapid Response Service

You can get help from the Jobcentre Plus Rapid Response Service to:

  • write CVs and find jobs
  • find information on benefits
  • find the right training and learn new skills
  • organise work trials (if you’re eligible)
  • get any extra help at work if you’re disabled, for example Access to Work

Support with recruitment

Employer of Choice 

Become an Employer of Choice for young people by creating a coordinated approach to work experience programmes, traineeships, industry placements and apprenticeships.

What’s the benefit?

  • The creation of a co-ordinated and expanded work experience offer
  • Generation of entry level jobs with clearly articulated progression opportunities
  • Investment in staff development, succession planning and support areas with recruitment and retention issues
  • Ability to support the most vulnerable residents into sustained employment

Contact to find out what you can do to become an employer of choice.

Kickstart Scheme

The Kickstart Scheme is a ground-breaking initiative to support 16-24 year olds into work. Any size and type of organisation that employs people can offer young people, claiming Universal Credit, a six-month work placement that will be paid for by government. The Kickstart Scheme is delivered by the Department for Work and Pensions and will initially be open until December 2021, with the option of being extended.
Government will pay 100% of the age-relevant National Minimum Wage, National Insurance and pension contributions for 25 hours a week. Employers will be able to top up this wage, while the Government will also pay employers £1500 to set up support and training for people on a Kickstart Scheme placement, as well as helping pay for uniforms and other set up costs.

Find out more about the Kickstart scheme here 

If you require a Kickstart gateway to support your placements contact for more information.

Working with untapped talent pool

There are a number of local initiatives which can provide access to unemployed individuals across all skills levels, providing targeted support to both businesses and the individuals where required.

North Somerset Community Learning is part of the Community Learning West consortium, working along with Bristol City Council and South Gloucestershire Council, providing employability training opportunities for North Somerset residents.

West of England Works Team North Somerset supports those facing multiple challenges to employment like caring responsibilities, mental health issues, disabilities, learning difficulty, drug and alcohol recovery etc. Contact Team North Somerset on 01934 411 573

North Somerset Economic Development team can provide impartial skills advice, guidance and recruitment support, free of charge. Contact the Employment and Skills team at

Sign up to our newsletter

Sign up to our monthly newsletter to keep up to date with business in North Somerset