College helps local businesses upskill their workforce with £1.4m funding boost

Skills for the workforce web press

A group of training providers, led by East Berkshire College, has secured a £1.4m contract from the European Social Fund (ESF) to help small to medium sized businesses across Berkshire to upskill their employees.

Berkshire businesses with less than 250 employees will be able to access the fully-funded training for employees aged over 19 (and resident in the UK/EU). Training will be delivered on a flexible, modular basis and will be specifically tailored to the needs of the individual business and its employees.

The Skills for the Workforce project is being delivered in partnership with Bracknell & Wokingham College, Newbury College, New Directions, Reading College and West Berkshire Training Consortium.

Charlie Roberts, ESF Project Manager at East Berkshire College, explains: "With around 40,000 SMEs in Berkshire, we want to support as many businesses as possible in their growth plans as the country moves out of recession. The focus of the Skills for the Workforce project is to deliver free workplace training to develop highly skilled workforces.

"The training programmes are fully funded and flexible in order to be most effective for businesses. Whether a company is looking to develop senior managers or employees with no formal qualifications, we can deliver appropriate training at a time and place to suit. East Berkshire College and all our training partners in this project have years of experience of working in a wide range of sectors, and can ensure businesses receive high-quality training to meet their needs."

The Skills for the Workforce project, which runs until July 2015, is designed to boost the skills of the local workforce and help local businesses to be more productive and competitive. Employers can access training for their employees in a range of areas including management and team leading, accountancy, administration, IT and specific industry-related skills to meet the requirements of their business. Employees can gain accredited units to enhance their knowledge with the opportunity to go on and complete a full, industry-recognised qualification at a reduced rate.

For information on the project and how your business can access free training, contact Charlie Roberts on 07795 052057, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit

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