Skills Support for the Workforce adapt delivery to meet business needs through COVID 19.

23 October 2020

Calderdale College is responsible for delivering the Skills Support for the Workforce (SSW) programme and has continued to successfully deliver throughout the lockdown period.

Whilst some businesses temporarily closed and furloughed their employees, others remained open, particularly around essential services such as Health, Social Care and Logistics. In order to support businesses continue with training and development, SSW recognised the need to respond to Government guidelines including social distancing for employers, participants and trainers/assessors and provided additional online and remote learning activities.

Whilst this was not possible for some sectors that required face to face delivery, through discussions with a number of providers, SSW adapted and tailored delivery models to suit the needs of businesses and participants. This offer also included support to employees who had been furloughed across all sectors, or where businesses were re-structuring or down-sizing where employees may be at risk of redundancy.

This approach continues to be reviewed and delivery adapted and tailored to meet employers emerging needs such as business resilience and recover in business and remote working technologies, particularly around digital and IT.

One of the training providers, Enterprise Made Simple (EMS), responded to the Covid Pandemic, Phil Teasdale, CEO of EMS quoted “we needed to be swift and take into account the various regulatory aspects of providing training and qualifications for learners along with maintaining the approach that encourages both support and learning with a networking and development basis.

“We digitised a number of our qualifications and courses, adapting and using new technologies such as Jam Board and Thinkrific to maintain the business development element, the networking and the ability for the learners to have real time discussions in both a facilitated and non-facilitated way, with a constant Zoom live element to the training.

“Working with businesses across the region, we saw a need to develop, write and deliver the recovery and resilience course, delivering this flexibly and ensuring it was adaptable to any government or Covid regulation changes that may be warranted.”

The response to these adaptations and the continuation of delivery of the service has made such a difference to many businesses and their staff throughout and beyond the pandemic.

As Emma-Jane Jervis from Story Sign in Northallerton said “I have learnt how to focus my ideas and think about different routes and solutions for my business to make more money and make the business more sustainable. I have learnt how to go through the process for a tender and put together a business proposal. I have reflected on my current sales cycle and got ideas how to improve it to raise future sales, it has been a revelation and much needed”.


A Plan to Reshape our Economy

Following on from our vision launch for a greener, fairer, stronger economic recovery for YNY, the LEP has worked with all LAs and partner organisations region-wide to develop a plan to reshape the region’s economy in order to address the challenges and opportunities arising from the pandemic.

Read the full Plan to Reshape our Economy here.

Impact of the plan on reshaping the economy will be measured by successful delivery against the 10 pledges. Read the pledge stories on our news page here.


Join us on Friday 6 November for our annual conference.

Held online for the first time, the conference will focus on a Greener, Fairer, Stronger vision for reshaping the York & North Yorkshire economy and how we can work together to achieve this. 

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