Skills Hub website launches
The Warwickshire Skills Hub has launched its website which brings together all the support for local businesses, schools and communities to create a skilled workforce and stable employment market to drive the county’s economy forwards.
The site encompasses support ranging from helping young people to enter the world of work, links for both young people and businesses to organise work experience placements and apprenticeships as well as some of the practical guidance and help that is available for businesses during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Warwickshire Skills Hub is part of the county council’s continued investment in skills support. Based in Eliot Park Innovation Centre in Nuneaton, the Skills Hub will be home to the Employability and Skills team, providing a creative space and virtual backdrop for many of the team’s campaigns and projects supporting the wide skills agenda.
Leading the way on skills activity the team’s ethos is to “Innovate, Shape and Create”. Collaborating with a number of skills, education and business experts, the growing team will play a crucial role in supporting businesses and communities to develop highly skilled workforces, establish strong career pathways ultimately helping Warwickshire’s economy to remain strong and sustainable.
However, whilst the pandemic restrictions are in place and the team is not able to physically base itself at its headquarters, the team will launch a series of events and support services via the new website, offering a series of supportive tools, virtual meetings and workshops.
Among the new site’s many features is a link to the county council’s Skills for Employment programme, a dedicated fund which underpins career activities and creates multiple opportunities for work experience.
There are links to the Careers and Enterprise Company and the Coventry and Warwickshire Careers Hub to support careers leaders in schools and resources for young people to help them to find work experience, look at the possibility of an apprenticeship or to help with CVs.
Among the projects that the Skills Hub has worked on, highlighted on the website, is the Supportive Employers Inc forum which linked businesses to schools and colleges across Warwickshire to provide supported internships to young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).
Direct support to businesses comes from Warwickshire County Council’s skills team who create skills plans for businesses, help them to source new talent and promote their businesses to prospective employees. Links to schemes such as the Government’s £2billion Kickstart programme and the Small Business Apprenticeship Levy Programme are invaluable signposts for enterprises looking to bring new talent in.
A new scheme that has recently gone live is the Future Careers Digital Market Place which offers local businesses the opportunity to work with a filming company to produce a short filmed piece to showcase career opportunities and pathways to prospective employees.
The county’s response to the Covid pandemic is a prominent feature, signposting businesses to some of the support programmes including Survive, Sustain and Grow – a new support programme which targets all small businesses in Warwickshire with a focus on retail, tourism, hospitality and leisure offering a tailored one-to-one recovery support package through a network of specialist consultants.
There is also a section on the Coventry and Warwickshire Redundancy Support Scheme, which brings together a range of partners including Coventry City Council, Coventry and Warwickshire LEP Growth Hub, the Department for Work and Pensions. The service supports local businesses through the difficult times created by the pandemic. It provides support, exploring options available to businesses to become more sustainable, potentially preventing job losses and company closures, wherever possible.
Cllr Izzi Seccombe, Leader of Warwickshire County Council and portfolio holder for economic development, said: “I am delighted to see a dedicated space being created for the Skills Hub and I look forward to the opening when we can welcome businesses and partners to meet the team. In the interim, while that is not possible, this website is a wonderful digital alternative, offering an interactive one stop shop for the region’s businesses and those seeking employment.
“The county council is committed to creating and sustaining a vibrant economy. The Skills Hub website offers help to businesses to help them to survive this terribly difficult period and be sustained to grow in future when our economic recovery kicks in.
“A strong economy needs a skilled workforce so I am delighted that there is such a wide range of support for young people and those seeking employment who are looking to get the skills they need to enter the work market and contribute to the local economy.”
For further information, visit https://skillshub.warwickshire.gov.uk/