Supporting Employers

ESF – Current Projects

Skills Support for the Workforce

This project is delivered by Dimensions Training Solutions.

Skills Support for the Workforce is funded under ESF priority 2.1 to enhance equal access to lifelong learning. The project aims to address skills shortages and gaps in the Marches particularly in priority employment and high growth sectors. The project supports small and medium sized businesses through a training needs analysis and delivery of fully funded training to develop the skills of the workforce, improve productivity and help employers to meet their business goals.

The project also supports people affected by redundancy to update their skills or retrain to help secure employment in new sectors.

Training can include short courses, units of training leading to a level 2 qualification and units of accredited training at level 3 and 4.

The project is funded by ESF and managed by the Education and Skills Funding Agency.

During the coronavirus crisis training has moved to being fully delivered online and now includes the following new courses:

Protect your workforce from Covid-19
Mental health first aid and mental health awareness
Children and young people’s mental health
Improving personal exercise, health and nutrition

For more information visit or contact and quote The Marches in your subject title.

Building Skills and Growth Capacity (available in Shropshire and Telford and Wrekin)

Building Skills and Growth Capacity is delivered by University Centre Shrewsbury.

The project is funded under ESF investment priority 2.2 to improve the labour market relevance of education and training systems. The project focuses on supporting the growth of SMEs and microbusinesses through ensuring they can identify and access skills development options that align with and unlock their growth plans. Key activities include:

  • The establishment of an employer engagement forum to consult businesses on their skills and growth needs and on-going discussions with businesses to inform the development of tailored skills solutions
  • Work with businesses to identify current and anticipate future skills requirements needed to support business growth, including technical skills and business/management skills, including a skills diagnostic to identify what skills the business needs to achieve growth, identify barriers in addressing needs, identifying the skills required and most suitable type of delivery such as short courses, apprenticeships or student placement
  • Respond to the skills needs identified by employers and the barriers to skills development through capacity building, for example apprenticeship development support, access to skills through work placements, adapting current provision to business need or other work-based skills solutions
  • The project also builds on existing ERDF innovation projects focused on areas of excellence around digital health and environmental science to help provide the skills needed for SMEs to realise their innovation and commercialisation goals.

For more information contact Ruth Westwood Or Andrea Elsey  email

MCMT Skills for Growth (available in Shropshire and Telford and Wrekin)

This project is delivered by the Marches Centre for Manufacturing and Technology (MCMT).

The project is funded under ESF investment priority 2.2 to improve the labour market relevance of education and training systems. MCMT have developed a project that will assist SME’s to grow and develop through assessing key skills development that are essential to the business. There are 2 themes to this project one being Building Business Skills for Growth and then other Building Skills for Future Employment.

Key activities include:

· Engaging with SME’s through a series of informative events and conferences

· Increase skills in the workforce, to allow cross-skilling and to remove bottlenecks in existing workforces, and therefore increase productivity. To also include Business support activities training courses (including short courses, management and technical skills, induction, placement and progression, work experience, internships, application engineering, start-up support, placement and progression)

· Working with the Shropshire and Telford business to identify the skills needed for the future and the barriers to skills development

· MCMT will support individuals into the workplace through the induction scheme, through encouraging young people (15+) into engineering, apprenticeships, and through the increase in skills to support enterprise sustainability. This will be done through a series of STEM engagement through schools and colleges

For more information contact Amy Farley at

Life Ready, Work Ready (available in Telford and Wrekin and Shropshire)

This project is delivered by Telford & Wrekin Council.

The project is funded under ESF investment priority 2.2 to improve the labour market relevance of education and training systems.

Key activities include:

Brokering opportunities to encourage and increase work experience, work placements, traineeships, apprenticeships and graduate placements particularly through wider employer engagement involving supply chains
Keeping local employers informed about local education and training provision
Activities to engage young people and develop their employability and vocational skills
Enhancing school-business engagement to ensure routes to local employment opportunities are promoted

For more information contact Mark Purcell on 01952 388830

Building Better Opportunities

The programme is investing in local projects to tackle the root causes of poverty, promote social inclusion and develop the employability skills of people furthest away from the labour market.

The project is co-funded by Big Lottery and managed by Landau in partnership with organisations from the community and voluntary sector.

For more information contact Landau.

In2 Youth Support Partnership

This project is delivered by Landau.

In2 is supporting young people aged 15-24 in the Marches who are not in education, employment or training (NEET) or at risk of becoming NEET. The project is funded under ESF priority 2.1 to support the sustainable integration of young people into the labour market and is funded by ESF and co-financed by the Education and Skills Funding Agency.

The TEENS Programme is working with young people aged 14 to 16 who are not currently engaging at or frequently enough with school., and works directly with the local secondary schools and employers to prepare young people for the world of work.

TEENs is an employability and personal development programme for 16 to 24 year olds who are NEET, focussing on developing young people’s employability and key life skill to take control of their own lives and move towards a better future. The TEENs programme equips young people with basic and employer led skills and supports them to move into sustained education, employment, or training, through traineeships or apprenticeships.

For further information contact Landau.

Work Routes

The project is delivered by Reed in Partnership and delivery partner Enable.

Work Routes is funded under ESF investment priority 1.1 to support access to employment for job-seekers and inactive people.  The project is funded by ESF and co-financed by the Department for Work and Pensions.

Work Routes provides in-depth, one-to-one support to jobseekers aged 16 to help them overcome barriers to employment – be it lack of skills, confidence, caring responsibilities, financial concerns, disabilities, mental or physical health issues – and to enter the workplace.  The programme offers personalised, long-term support, including in-work support, from an assigned Employment Advisor working from local offices throughout the Marches.

Reed in Partnership deliver the service in Herefordshire, Telford and Wrekin and Bridgnorth and Enable deliver the service within the Shropshire local authority area excluding Bridgnorth and will run until July 2021.

For more information or to register for the programme visit or call freephone 0800 015 5332

Community Grants

The Community Grants scheme is delivered by Landau.

Community Grants is funded by ESF, commissioned by the Education and Skills Funding Agency under investment priority 1.4 to support the Marches LEP strategic priorities.

The scheme aims to support small and voluntary organisations with grants of £5,000 – £20,000 for local initiatives that will move unemployed people towards employment, training or back into education.

Projects that are eligible for funding include activities that improve confidence and promote social integration – such as sports and gardening clubs – the development of local support groups and networks, such as ‘Job Clubs’ and initiatives that to help personal development, such as assertiveness and motivational training.

Third sector and small organisations with less than £8.5 million turnover and employing less than 49 people are eligible to apply for a grant.

The programme will run from January 2020 with applications open until April 2021. Information on eligibility and funding criteria can be obtained from

Back to top arrow
Skip to content