Our training division, Siamo Training, has been – and continue to be – committed to partnering with businesses to provide bespoke training and skills development packages for their employees.
Along with the apprenticeship training that we continue to provide, over the last 4 years, our training division has had the pleasure of delivering Skills Support for the Workforce (SSW) training to businesses nationally.
As we now move on to working on different projects, we want to highlight and celebrate the work that our training division has put into delivering SSW, breakdown some statistics from our delivery, and offer an insight into our process.
An Overview of SSW
SSW programmes were designed to be aimed at small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs); those businesses who employ up to 250 staff. The qualifications delivered and completed are NVQ Certificated or Diplomas, and aimed to upskill employees while futureproofing business’ workforces. SSW was co-financed by the European Social Fund (ESF) and the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA), making these programmes highly accessible at no extra cost to the business.
Siamo Training were chosen to be part of Serco’s network of expert organisations that delivered SSW programmes across various regions, nationally.
Working with SMEs meant that as a training provider, we have been able to facilitate a highly personal training plan; assessing the needs of the business, setting out a flexible delivery plan and ensuring that it was actionable and aligned with the needs that were identified.
Throughout the SSW programme delivery, we have delivered training courses in (but not limited to):
- Leadership and Management NVQ Level 2 Diploma
- Customer Service NVQ Level 2 Diploma
- Warehousing and Storage NVQ Level 2 Certificate
- Performing Manufacturing Operations NVQ Level 2 Diploma
- Business Improvement Techniques Level 2 Diploma
- Digital Skills Level 2 Diploma
Despite being different in design to apprenticeships, our approach to SSW training delivery remained the same; to always think long-term and to create a partnership with employers that can be nurtured. This could lead to us being an extension to your Learning and Development team, or simply returning at a later time, supporting the continuous professional development of your staff who are stepping into new roles along with more recent recruits.
Throughout our SSW programme delivery, we are extremely proud to have:
- Delivered SSW within 9 regions across the country. Including: Greater Birmingham and Solihull, Black Country, Coventry and Warwickshire, Derby and Derbyshire, Greater Cambridgeshire and Greater Peterborough, Leicester and Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire, and Stoke and Staffordshire.
- Partnered with 92 employers
- Worked with a total of 2254 learners
- 1382 of the learners we worked with have:
- Made progressions at work
- Progressed into apprenticeships with us
- Extended their learning with further education elsewhere – many in 2022-23
As the final statistics show, we often found that many learners were interested in continuing their development beyond the completion of their initial course. This took the form of further SSW training, by progressing to a higher level, or moving onto an apprenticeship with us.
Luckily, even though our delivery of SSW programmes has now ended, learners can start straight away with an apprenticeship, and they are available to workers of all ages. We work with employers to utilise the apprenticeship levy, or perform a levy transfer, so the apprenticeships may even be 100% fully-funded!
Reflecting on SSW success
David Bacon, one of our Directors of Training at Siamo Training, reflected on the success of the SSW programme, and the benefits it has had:
“As SSW funding draws to an end we reflect on what has been achieved, and as a training provider, we can be very proud. Focusing on SME businesses has brought such joy; seeing learners grow in confidence and developing themselves and their future.
Supporting businesses that weren’t aware of this fully-funded investment enabled them to provide development opportunities to their workforce – this gave us all such pleasure. We also provided a platform for learners to continue to progress themselves into higher learning with Siamo Training (via Apprenticeship Levy), and so many are now being rewarded for this hard work with distinctions, promotions and becoming confident in the journey ahead.
On a personal level, it has also led to relationships with clients who I now class as friends, and also with our prime Serco who have been truly supportive along the journey.
It hasn’t all been straight forward, though, with us continuously changing our offering to support key regional needs, and let’s not forget the pandemic – where it affected every business in some way, but was particularly challenging for the training industry. The changes we made to support our existence is something we are very proud of and has helped to revolutionise the way we deliver to this day.
Our achievements during the SSW contract were reflected in our growth opportunities, where we were awarded a further 4 regions – moving us to a total of 9. This was based on key metrics such as performance, timely results, compliance, learner feedback and our delivery models. Huge credit has to go to our Compliance and Trainers, who continued to evolve and upskill to ensure of our continued success.
The importance of this funding shouldn’t be taken lightly as it has had a huge impact on SME businesses and their staff. We now move onto other opportunities, and look forward to focusing on these regions and making a fundamental difference to the way people develop themselves and their future.”