Published: 22 October 2019

SMEs in Hertfordshire are urged to take advantage of the Skills Support for the Workforce programme, offering fully funded training to upskill their workforce. Backed by £4.4m funding, Skills Support for the Workforce (SSW) is a 28-month programme launched in April, which provides eligible businesses with funded training, tailored to their specific needs. The programme is delivered by leading business service provider Serco and co-financed by the European Social Fund and the Education and Skills Funding Agency.

Serco will work in partnership with key stakeholders to provide skills development across the key priority sectors identified within Hertfordshire LEP’s Strategic Economic Plan, including;

  • Advanced manufacturing
  • Engineering
  • Life sciences
  • Defence and aerospace
  • Software, ICT and telecoms
  • Film and digital media
  • Construction
  • Business and finance
  • High-end logistics

Participating businesses will benefit from a bespoke Training Needs Analysis to identify the need to upskill or address skills gaps iwithin their workforce. Training is flexible and could cover subjects such as IT and digital skills, leadership and management or more vocationally relevant courses, with businesses able to select full qualifications or mix and match individual units that are directly relevant to their employees’ work.

The SSW programme in Hertfordshire also offers support and training for individuals at risk of redundancy or those who have been made redundant within the last three months.

Previous SSW programme participants have benefited from increased employee confidence, motivation and productivity and improved loyalty and retention.To deliver the programme, Serco has partnered with expert training organisations to offer accredited qualifications and bespoke training courses to enhance employees’ skills and increase business competitiveness.

Norman Jennings, Operations Director at Hertfordshire LEP, said: “Skills development is a cornerstone of local economic growth and productivity, and in an increasingly competitive world, it is vital that Hertfordshire businesses have access to a skilled workforce to help drive future growth. We are delighted that our targeted funding will help meet local business needs and we encourage all SMEs to explore how they could benefit from the SSW programme.”

Rob Matts, Head of Skills Support for the Workforce at Serco, said: “I am delighted that Serco has been selected by the Education and Skills Funding Agency to manage the SSW programme in Hertfordshire in partnership with local stakeholders such as the LEP. We have already supported more than 20,000 learners through our SSW delivery across England with more than 7,000 businesses benefitting from this important service.

“I would urge businesses or, individuals that may be facing redundancy, to get in touch with our team and take advantage of the funded training on offer. We look forward to enabling many more businesses to take advantage of SSW training to upskill their staff and grow their businesses.”

To find out if your business is eligible for funded training through the SSW programme, please email Serco at or visit

Sign up to our newsletter