Boosting Productivity with Fully Funded Training for Employees [Case Study]

Yorkshire Heart, a growing, family run vineyard and brewery in North Yorkshire have used fully funded training available through our Skills Support for the Workforce programme, managed by Calderdale College, to boost productivity and up-skill their staff.

‘’We always seemed to be too busy to find time for training and there was also the cost, yet we had skills gaps in all sorts of areas, from IT to social media. We were delighted when the funding became available as it meant that we could use the time to get motivated and push ourselves to train our teams, helping us all to progress further’’, said Karen Metcalfe, Yorkshire Heart’s Business Development Manager.

Launched in 2006, Yorkshire Heart has significantly expanded since. With major developments taking place and only a small team of employees, Owners Chris and Gillian Spakouskas found that training was slipping to the bottom of their list of priorities.

Fortunately, Skills Support for the Workforce (SSW) offers fully funded training courses to help SME’s give their staff the training they need to help their business grow and remain competitive. Co-financed through the European Social Fund and the Education and Skills Funding Agency, the project is open for non-compulsory, work based training that supports businesses growth plans.

SSW enabled Yorkshire Heart to focus on identifying and plugging the skills gaps among its employees, improving staff’s confidence and boosting productivity by increasing the team’s ability to work independently. It’s also helped them to fully realise the benefits of up-skilling their staff.

Karen explained: “We found the Excel IT training really useful as staff can now do their own Excel spreadsheets and don’t need help. The social media and marketing training was also really helpful as it means we can promote our business and engage with customers which will allow us to continue to grow the company.

“It has helped develop our team hugely, building their confidence. The new skills and also the catch-up training can be used across the whole business for years to come

“Our advisors could not have been more supportive and helpful to us – it was just what we needed to keep us motivated with training!”

‘’Our team will continue to grow and we’ll be more focused on training and developing new team members as and when the time comes. Now that we’ve experienced the benefits, we will look at pushing ourselves to higher levels all round.

Ebrahim Dockrat, External Funding Director of Calderdale College, said: “We offer a range of flexible, bespoke training plans designed to help your business grow. By training your staff, you can improve your ability to adapt to a rapidly changing business environment, nurture a leadership team for the future and make you an employer of choice for emerging talent.

“As this training is funded with European money, this is the last project of its kind. This funding is only available until July 2018, so it’s a case of get it whilst you still can.”

For more information on the Skills Support for the Workforce project and to see if your business is eligible for fully-funded training, you can visit http://ssw.fundingunit.org.uk/