Last updated: 25.05.14

Funding boost for skills training in the south-west

Businesses in the south-west of England will benefit from a new boost in funding for skills training. A total of £400,000 has been secured to help local firms ensure that their staff are equipped with the necessary training and encourage a greater take-up of apprenticeships in the area.

West Morning News reports that £300,000 from the European Social Fund has been secured by Cornwall College Business (CCB), with this money being earmarked for the provision of training and advice to local businesses.

A further £100,000 has been secured by the Cornwall Manufacturers Forum through the government-backed Ownership Skills fund, in support of tailor made training for businesses across the country. 

Among the qualifications that CCB will focus on are TIG and MIG welding courses, as well as computer aided design (CAD), which is a key aspect of engineering.

Jonathan Peck, commercial manager of CCB, told the news provider that there is strong demand for engineering courses and skills training to support manufacturing processes.

CCB is also working with Cornwall Manufacturers Forum to develop training plans that will be effective for new apprenticeships, based on the actual shortfalls that members of the forum believe are holding back their businesses.

The scheme is focused on helping to provide young people with the skills that are in most demand among employers and providing high-quality work experience, whether it's in the form of traineeships or apprenticeships.

James Watts, chief executive of manufacturer Flann Microwave, said: "The apprenticeship strand for us is really exciting, we have been looking after apprentices for many years, but we have felt that sometimes they don't fit with our business. So this has given us the opportunity to go and get the training we need."

Virtual College provides a range of courses and services geared specifically towards apprentices that are designed to provide them with a fun and engaging learning environment, that is also cost-effective.