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Issue 7 | January 2015

People Group - Information about the People Group including terms of reference, meeting minutes and research reports is available on the LEP website.  Please visit regularly to keep up to date.

European Structural and Investment Funds Strategy (EU SIF) - The People Group is still open for feedback in relation to the prioritisation of activities within the EU SIF. If you would like to make a comment, then please email Rosie Bates.

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 January edition of the Heart of the South West (HotSW) Skills Newsletter.

This month we have information and updates on a number of programmes running throughout the area, from an Untapped Talent event to an ESF success story.

The Unlocking Big Data event, which will be held later this month, is now full - we will provide an update in a future newsletter.

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

Stephen Criddle, Chair, HotSW LEP People Group, LEP Board member, Principal and CEO, South Devon College.

Unlocking Big Data: Investing in Human Capital

The Unlocking Big Data event announced in the December skills newsletter is now fully subscribed.

The free interactive conference will take place on 28th January 2015 and will feature a range of industry specialist keynote speakers.

It aims to help the Heart of the South West realise its Big Data potential to shape the conversation, examine the skills we need to invest in and define the focus for potential future funding proposals.

We will provide an update on the event in a future newsletter with links to conference materials and outcomes from the event.

Untapped Talent: The Employer Benefits

An employer event has been held in North Devon focusing on making businesses aware of the many skills that people with learning disabilities can bring to their organisations.

Hosted by the North Devon Manufacturers Association, the event featured guest speakers from The National Autistic Society, North Devon District Hospital, SWM Waste Recycling, The Calvert Trust and Toller Beattie Solicitors, who gave an insight into the benefits for employers.

Tips for recruitment and a discussion on employment law and health and safety responsibilities followed. Businesses also heard from young people who have found paid employment and found out more about their ambitions.

As a result, six new employers expressed an interest in the initiative, potentially offering work placements in the future.

A free employer information pack is being produced to highlight the variety of specialised support and incentives available to businesses. To register for a copy visit The Northern Devon Employment & Skills Board (ESB) website.

Skills for Growth training programme success

Taunton-based Oake Manor Golf Club is celebrating after being the first employer to run the Serco training programme last year called Skills for Growth.

Steve Purchase, at Oake Manor Golf Club, signed up for the training with the objective of training his team. Steve was keen to work with HIT training to provide excellent, up to date training for his team members.

As a result, the Front Of House team achieved their Award for Personal Licence Holders certificate and all the kitchen team updated their food safety qualifications.

Following the training, some team members have also progressed onto other qualifications including a Level 2 Apprenticeship in Food and Beverage Service.

To find out more about the Serco training programme, please click here.

Final call to seasonal businesses to boost customer service skills

An initiative to help businesses develop customer service skills is continuing in North Devon.

The project is now entering its last phase and interested businesses are being encouraged to attend the final Breakfast Training Induction meeting on 25th February 2015.

The ‘Skills for Seasonal Workers’ project is running because it’s recognised that 96% of dissatisfied customers take their custom elsewhere without ever complaining*.

Run by North Devon+ and the Employment & Skills Board, in conjunction with Education + Training Skills, employers receive a free training needs analysis, identifying where they can develop skills tailored to their business needs.

The project has been running since September 2014 and has 13 businesses taking part so far.

The bite sized training is delivered in the workplace over a twelve week period and is worth up to £1,250.

Sarah Grigg, Employment and Skills Manager said: “This project is helping local businesses to gain a competitive edge and boost their profits. We’ve planned the project so the training can take place during the low season, allowing tourism businesses to participate.”

Businesses can register their interest here.

(*Source: Harris Interactive)

CITB Employment and Skills Strategy

The LEP is currently working with CITB - the Sector Skills Council and Industry Training Board for the construction industry - to develop an Employment and Skills Strategy for the Heart of the South West area.

A number of businesses and stakeholders have already completed a survey to inform the background research and a workshop has been held to seek further views.
The survey is open for responses until Friday 23rd January and between then and early February, CITB will be pulling together a draft strategy and planning a further workshop.
To complete the survey please click here (if the link does not work, please download the word attachment and email to the CITB).

More details will follow in the next edition.

Places available on Mentor Skills Care & Share Programme

The pilot Mentor Skills Care & Share Programme is being launched this month and ten places have been made available for businesses in the Health and Social Care Sector.

As reported in a previous newsletter, the programme will train employees in mentoring techniques through an in-house ‘buddying’ scheme.

Run by North Devon+, the pilot is aimed at Priority Learners aged 50+ in the Health and Social Care Sector.

Employees will team up with and share their expertise with a younger, less experienced colleague, who in turn will support them with any digital skills gaps.

These gaps may range from online form-filling, gaining experience in programmes like Excel, to using social media for marketing.

This pilot scheme aims to improve job satisfaction for participants and improve the retention of staff for the employer. 

Places are limited: if your business is interested in taking part in this free training opportunity contact Sarah Grigg at North Devon+.

Copyright © 2015 Heart of the South West LEP People Group, All rights reserved.

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