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Issue 4 | October 2014

Bridgwater College staff and students restore Town’s cannon - Bridgwater College’s Engineering and Construction departments have spent months restoring Bridgwater Town’s historical cannon in a project managed by Sedgemoor District Council.  Please click here to read the full press release.


About the Skills Newsletter
Produced by the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership's People Group, this monthly newsletter aims to keep people informed of current news and activity.

The Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership is a strong and dynamic partnership between the private sector, local authorities, universities and further education across Devon, Plymouth, Somerset and Torbay with the purpose of leading and influence economic growth, job creation and prosperity across the Heart of the South West.

Welcome to the October edition of the Heart of the South West (HotSW) Skills Newsletter.

This edition contains news about the planned Employment and Skills Conference to be held next month.  Please book your place now as we expect demand to be high.

We've also included information about two new pilot programmes in the area, both designed to address identified skills needs.

Please contact us if you have any news you would like us to include in future editions of the newsletter.

Employment and Skills Conference

The Heart of the South West LEP People Group is hosting a conference which will take place next month (14th November).

The event aims to:
  • provide an update on the People Group's work so far
  • explain the opportunities that will become available through the ESIF funding
  • engage with stakeholders and gain feedback on proposed activities.
The Employment and Skills event will include workshops, the chance to ask questions and an opportunity to provide input and ideas into the future commissioning of work in this area.

The conference is aimed at organisations, businesses and individuals in the Heart of the South West area with an interest in the LEP’s ‘People’ theme – Employment, Skills and Social Inclusion.

Places are limited and restricted to two per organisation.  They will be allocated on a first come, first served basis and as demand is likely to be high, early booking is recommended.

Details are as follows:

Mentor Skills Care & Share Programme pilot approved

North Devon+ has been given the go ahead to run a Mentor Skills Care & Share Programme.

Aimed at Priority Learners aged 50+ in the Health and Social Care Sector, the programme will train employees in mentoring techniques through an in-house ‘buddying’ scheme.

Each participant will be partnered with a younger team member to enable them to develop and practice their mentoring skills, whilst also actively sharing their company knowledge and expertise.

The younger team member will support the older worker with any business specific gaps in their knowledge. This may include IT support with programmes like Word and Excel, online form filling, or how to use social media, thereby filling any digital learning gaps.

This pilot scheme aims to improve job satisfaction for participants and improve the retention of staff for the employer.  The programme will enhance business productivity and create in-house support, whilst enabling knowledge sharing and the identification of future business development opportunities.

This programme will also provide a template of best practice for future use across the Heart of the South West area.

To find out more, please contact North Devon+

Skills Support for the Workforce – Local Response Fund

A new project aimed at stimulating training in leadership, management and coaching is being delivered across the Heart of the South West.

The project allows talented staff to develop expertise and increase their ability to add value to the organisation.  It is taking place in key sectors including retail, hospitality, care, food manufacture, sport and leisure and logistics

Employers and employees will benefit through accessing quality training. 

The aim is to increase business efficiency, develop skills and raise employee confidence.

If you are an employer with less than 49 employees in one of these sectors and are interested in this opportunity please contact Ann Phillips at Somerset Skills and Learning.

Successful bid for Customer Service training

The Exeter and Heart of Devon Employment and Skills Board has made a successful bid for Local Response Funding.

The Local Response Fund - a total of £377,000 of European Social Fund money - was awarded to the area last year for skills based projects.  The aim of the Fund is to address LEP skills priorities and is ring fenced for projects that answer identified skills needs across the area.

This project will pilot a free one day Rugby World Cup Hospitality Training day for 160 participants at Sandy Park in Exeter.

Participants will be trained to offer world class levels of customer service to Rugby World Cup visitors and will also have the chance to gain a Level 2 award in the Principles of Customer Service in Hospitality by the end of the day.
Following the pilot there may be opportunities to roll out the programme throughout the Heart of the South West area in preparation for similar tourism based events.

More details about the training day and the application process will be available soon.

New Business Focused Newsletter

The Skills Funding Agency is due to launch a new business focused newsletter which will contain broader business related content. 

To sign up for the newsletter, please sign up for the web alert service.

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