University of Sunderland skills plan could help 17,500 staff

AFTER six months, a multi-million pound European Social Fund project led by the University of Sunderland has now worked with over 50 employers in the region.

Launched in September 2021, the North East Workforce Skills Scheme is an ESF-funded project worth almost £15m and aims to improve the skills of the workforce. working to support over 17,500 employees in the Tyne and Wear and Northumberland region by September 2023.

Led by the University of Sunderland, the consortium of further and higher education providers in the North East includes Access Training Limited, MTC Training, Newcastle College Group, SETA, Code and TDR Training and is on track to have a high impact through the matching and delivery of tailored training and development solutions for businesses, from basic skills training through to degree level.

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Sir David Bell, Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of the University of Sunderland, said: “Sunderland is on a phenomenal growth trajectory with regular news on investment and development in the media. Driving this growth is a strong appetite for collaboration in the city and a willingness of partners to work together for the greater good.

“Investing in the workforce of today and tomorrow is key to retaining and developing talent in the region. We are therefore delighted to lead the program and delighted with the results to date, with the hope and expectation of more to come.

Employers can use ESF funding to meet CVT requirements within their company up to a maximum of €200,000 over a three-year period if the private sector, and without limit if the public sector. Employers paying levies provided matching funding to support the ESF contract, ensuring the program is accessible to all employers.

Companies are increasingly recognizing the importance of developing their workforce and many are already reaping the benefits. Consortium partners have developed an offer for employers that includes a variety of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and training solutions to help employers maintain and grow their business.

Among the 50 employers working with the program is Sodexo, which has partnered with NUFC to provide matchday catering, hospitality and event management at Newcastle United FC.

Rachel Divers, Head of Sales at Sodexo, said: “I work in the hospitality and events industry and the change we have experienced during the pandemic has been phenomenal and any additional learning I can undertake to help me Helping to navigate this ever-changing landscape benefits me and my place of work.

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“I have now been three months into the PG Cert in Leadership and Change course and while improving my education, which is priceless.”

Staff from South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust have also benefited from the North East Workforce Skills Program through training provided by MTC. MTC provided leadership training, including a team leadership workshop as well as one-on-one support.

Tim Pain Assistant Director – Enterprise & Innovation at the University of Sunderland added: “The program is committed to developing and retaining employees, to enable them to take on more responsibility or promotion, to retain them within workforce or move them to higher levels. paid employment. On top of that, by funding training, employers will be able to maintain and grow within their market, which can only benefit the Northeast economy.