Six reasons to apply for free leadership and management training for your employees

SMEs encouraged to discover the benefits of upskilling their workforce with leadership and management training

A wide range of leadership and management training courses are on offer through the Skills Support for the Workforce project, to help businesses in the Leicestershire region upskill their workforce. 

In excess of £1.8 million in funding has been made available to provide fully funded leadership and management training for small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Leicester and Leicestershire.

But why is upskilling your workforce so important? 

There are more than 425,800 people of working age living in Leicestershire, however some employers have reported that they find it difficult to recruit people with the right qualifications, skillset or level of training, particularly when it comes to leadership and management skills.

Unfortunately for many SMEs, a lack of time and difficulties meeting the cost of training courses can prevent them from offering their employees development opportunities. A report by the Federation of Small Businesses found that 43% of businesses listed the cost of training as a major challenge.

The free training on offer though the Skills Support for the Workforce project has been specifically designed to bridge the gap in leadership and management skills within the region.

By encouraging employees to work towards these fully-funded, bespoke training courses and professional qualifications, SMEs can enjoy a range of benefits, including:

  1. Improved decision making: When employees are trained in the latest management techniques and approaches, they are able to make better management decisions when it comes to planning and managing change, engaging colleagues to improve performance and dealing with complex and challenging issues.
  2. Increased confidence: When they complete training and gain new qualifications, current and prospective managers have the confidence to take on more responsibility and step up into more challenging roles within the team. They work more efficiently, boosting the overall productivity of the business.
  3. The competitive edge: Not only can training help increase productivity and enhance the range of services that a business can offer, it can give SMEs in highly competitive industries the edge over their rivals, helping them to win new business, contracts or clients.
  4. Job satisfaction: Research has found that managers who feel encouraged and supported to develop their knowledge and skills not only work more effectively, but are also more satisfied in their jobs. This makes them positive role models for their fellow employees and great ambassadors for the business.
  5. Employee retention: A more fulfilled, motivated and engaged workforce is a more loyal workforce, which means that managers are less likely to look for work elsewhere.
  6. Growth: The knock-on effect of all these benefits is greater potential for a business to grow, not to mention the personal growth and development of employees.

Co-financed by the European Union’s European Social Fund and the Education and Skills Funding Agency, Skills Support for the Workforce funding is available to SMEs operating in all sectors, including advanced manufacturing, engineering, food and drink, logistics and distribution, professional and financial services, textiles, tourism and hospitality, low carbon and other fields, helping them to meet the cost of non-compulsory, work-based training to support their business growth plan.

The free training courses on offer through the scheme include:

  • Strategic management

The principles of management, developing organisational structure and operational planning.

  • People management

Leading people, building influencing skills, managing conflict and mentoring.

  • Financial management

Managing a budget with planning and control.

  • Stakeholder management

Engaging with stakeholders, communications strategy and meeting customers’ needs.

  • Project management

The principles, budget management, relationship management and monitoring performance.


SMEs interested in applying for the funding must act quickly as it’s only available until Spring 2018.

The project is being delivered by Calderdale College – one of the country’s largest providers of training offered through the European Social Fund - using local training providers to fill training gaps, unique to each area of the country.

Thousands of businesses across the country from a broad range of sectors have already taken the opportunity to upskill their employees, so what are you waiting for?

For more information about the courses on offer visit http://ssw.fundingunit.org.uk/areas/leicestershire, call 0845 6443753, or email funding@calderdale.ac.uk.