A host of companies who have improved the skills of their workforce through a European-funded scheme are set to celebrate their achievements at an event in the North East.
The first Employer Achievement Awards on Friday will mark the achievements of companies who have used the Skills Support for the Workforce programme to gain their staff new qualifications.
The programme offers completely free training to North East SMEs employing fewer than 250 people, and launched 18 months ago.
Delivered by Intraining, the training arm of NCG, the programme offers employers the chance to access workplace and classroom based learning to support the growth of their business.
Intraining’s Julie Stirling said: “The North East has a fantastic workforce but it is recognised as having relatively low qualification rates.
“Many people in the region have worked their way up the career ladder without gaining qualifications on paper, and while this can be beneficial, businesses and individuals can get a lot of value out of becoming qualified.”
Teams of workers who have undergone the training have been judged by NCG staff and business advisors, and will go head-to-head in four categories including the Innovation Award, the Progression Award, the Higher Achievement Award and the Learner Award.
Joe Docherty, chief executive of NCG, the parent company of Newcastle College, said: “The number of small and medium sized businesses is growing faster in the North East than any other region in England. This community offers us the biggest potential to create opportunities for local people, promote innovation and enterprise and — most importantly — contribute to the local economy.
“Through the Skills Support for the Workforce programme, which is delivered by our training company Intraining, we have worked with many employers which recognise the importance of high quality training as a way of not only growing their business but also investing and developing their staff. That also meets our main purpose at NCG of unlocking people’s potential through learning.
“I am looking forward to welcoming so many talented and committed businesses to the event and I wish all the nominees the best of luck.”
Sandra Cowley, skills director at Intraining said: “On behalf of Intraining I am delighted to be hosting this event that will recognise and celebrate local businesses and employees who have shown true commitment in developing the skills of their workforce.
“Businesses should never underestimate the importance and impact of ongoing training within the workplace, as by doing so they not only enable their business to improve and compete into today’s challenging markets, but also developed confidence, increased morale and commitment in their employees resulting in a winning situation for all.”
Intraining is hopeful the success of the recent Skills Support for the Workforce programme will lead to another three years of its delivery in the region.
- The black tie awards take place on Friday at the Marriott Gosforth Park from 7pm onwards.