Oxfordshire Skills for Business is a programme of support provided by OxLEP Skills that gives free, practical support to small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to identify and evaluate their skills and learning needs, including upskilling current staff.
The team carries out a comprehensive 'Skills Needs Assessment' with each employer, who then receive a detailed training and development plan to help them achieve their skills and development goals.
One such business is Priory Cast Products Ltd, a small foundry based in Kingham, and one of the few casting businesses remaining in the UK.
Skills for Business are supporting business owners Yunus Ascott and Eliza Higginbottom to recruit new staff and upskill existing ones, in addition to providing leadership and management training and helping them to access support from other OxLEP programmes.
This includes recruiting a metal casting, foundry and patternmaking technician apprentice in partnership with Dudley College, which was advertised recently. Eliza and Yunus hope that the support they are receiving will enable them to expand the business and order book and focus on other projects.
Eliza says: “Skills for Business has been fantastic for clarifying our thoughts, enabling us to channel our energy into the most beneficial decisions and actions for not only growth, but resilience. The training and development report we have received after close conversation and analysis of our business is extremely comprehensive and astute and is proving to be a fantastic tool. For example, for accessing policy templates and specific training for identified gaps.”
“Specifically, having support accessing and implementing an apprenticeship scheme is going to prove vital to the continuity of skills and building labour force in our sector. The world of apprenticeships has seemed a daunting door to open so we feel extremely lucky to have this very bespoke support and would encourage all to access it. Having someone to talk business strategy with who is on the outside looking in is invaluable!”
Could your business benefit from some training and development support? Contact Skills for Business.