New projects to support businesses' leadership and STEM skills development

 New projects to support businesses' leadership and STEM skills development

SMEs across Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire (D2N2 area) can access support in developing STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) and leadership and management techniques through two new projects, based on the University of Derby.

The projects, part funded through the European Social Fund (ESF), will be bolstered by the same amount in match funding by delivery partners including the University of Derby and Nottingham Trent University, which is leading the project.

The new projects will form part of the High Level Skills programme that has provided support to over 700 businesses and 1,500 individuals working for SMEs since 2021 to access graduate talent, higher and degree apprenticeships, and level vocational training and skills.

The Smart and Inclusive Leadership (SAIL) project will give you SMEs with the leadership and management skills needed to drive productivity, growth and competitiveness, through qualifications from basic skills right through to advanced levels of accredited higher education.

The Branch out in STEM project will support the development of employees with the skills to thrive within their industry, helping to develop easier and competitive businesses with the ability to take advantage of new and emerging technologies, for example data analytics and data science skills.

Courses vary from Level 1, with bespoke learning designed to help meet specific small business, through to accredited courses as much as Level 7. Coaching and mentoring to support career development will also be available.

The projects is going to be delivered by a consortium of higher education, further education and third sector organisations, led by Nottingham Trent University, including the University of Derby, Derby College, Nottingham College, East Midlands Chamber of Commerce, Enable, and the Workers’ Educational Association.

The D2N2 Growth Hub, the Federation of Smaller businesses, the Institute of Directors, and Nottingham City Council will continue to be strategic partners within the new extended High Level Skills programme, helping to promote the work and engage participants from eligible businesses.

Professor Warren Manning, Provost Innovation and Research at the University of Derby, said: “We are delighted to be part of these two new projects aimed at supporting SMEs and their employees with specific focus on the development of high level skills.

“Partnerships between business, universities along with other education providers are essential for driving innovation in the area and we are pleased to be part of the consortium delivering this training.”

Both projects will encourage participation of individuals underrepresented in both leadership and management, and STEM. Including but is not limited to; women, BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) groups, disabled people, people living in a single adult household with dependent children, and people without basic skills qualifications.

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