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New Flexible Skills Fund Launched by WECA


The West of England Combined Authority (CA) is launching a new range of funding this summer to meet the diverse skills and employability needs of our residents. They invite you to get involved and apply.

All funding aims to meet Metro Mayor Dan Norris’s key priorities and address priority needs set out in the regions Employability and Skills Plan. The fund has several priority areas, one of which is communities, which may be of prime interest.


Flexible Skills Funding:

The first funding round opening later in July and has around £2 million available to meet priority gaps in skills provision across the region. They will be looking to fund initiatives in the following areas:

  • Modular Training: Funding for in-work skills initiatives to support residents to gain qualifications and training through modular training addressing local skills needs for cross-cutting themes in our economy including; digital skills, green skills, and sector specific leadership and management

  • Apprenticeship Support: Initiatives which increase apprenticeship starts and completions and which increase engagement from a variety of target groups, parents and employers. This can include supporting employers to successfully manage an apprentice through the apprenticeship and through the end point assessment to ensure successful completions.

  • Community based support: New programmes which engage the most vulnerable and economically inactive in our communities facing multiple barriers to accessing mainstream training and employability services. Programmes will provide high levels of individualised support and wrap around support through community partnerships to support residents to progress into positive skills/training, employability and volunteering outcomes.

  • NEET and Pre-NEET support: New programmes which provide intensive individualised support for individuals to grow in confidence, access wrap around services such as health and wellbeing and progress into positive skills/training, employability and volunteering outcomes.


Funding will be made available from UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) and Mayoral Priority Skills Fund.

WECA will be launching the funding with a market engagement event on 27th July. You can sign up to this event and subsequent networking events around the different funding themes on the website here: Flexible Skills Funding - West of England Combined Authority (westofengland-ca.gov.uk)

Funding will be awarded in the Autumn 2023 and activity will deliver until March 2025.



Other funding available this summer from the West of England Combined Authority – People and Skills Team:

Multiply:

The CA is making further funding available to employers and providers to deliver the Multiply Programme. This programme offers easy access to free courses and initiatives that can help develop individuals’ skills and confidence in numeracy. It also provides an opportunity for employers to collaborate with providers to deliver free, fully funded numeracy skills to their employees. The training is funded through the Department for Education's (DfE), National Skills Fund and forms part of the Government’s Lifetime Skills Guarantee, helping adults 19+ gain Skills for Life.


This fund is currently live until 10th July. Further details are here: Multiply – year two - West of England Combined Authority (westofengland-ca.gov.uk)


Skills Bootcamps:

The CA is making further funding available to employers and providers as part of the wave 4 Skills Bootcamp initiative to deliver specialist training covering 7 key sector areas.


This fund will launch on the 10th July with a market engagement event. Details of the fund and to sign up to the market engagement can be found here: Skills Bootcamps (Wave 4) - West of England Combined Authority (westofengland-ca.gov.uk)


Adult Education Budget – Open Application Process:

This fund will open soon. Look out on the website for further information: Adult education - West of England Combined Authority (westofengland-ca.gov.uk)

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