Funding for employees to study courses

January 22, 2021

We are proud to announce our new partnership with the £12m Supplier Skills Programme, which offers small to medium sizes businesses within eligible areas of Worcestershire and the West Midlands the opportunity to access grant funding to develop and upskill their employees.  

The programme is part-funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) and managed by Birmingham City Council, and is something that we here at Open Study College feel incredibly passionate about.  

Learning and development within businesses is often overlooked due to the perceived costs. However we all know how important it is to invest in employees’ professional development – the benefits are endless, from creating a skilled workforce to improving staff retention.  

With this new programme, grants of between £500 to a maximum of £18,000 per SME are available and training will be funded 50% by the SME and 50% by the ESF grant.  

As a distance learning provider, we remove the need to attend a physical college, enabling people to study at their own pace and balance studies alongside work. Courses such as A Levels, GCSEs, project management, HR, finance, management and leadership and childcare courses are all included in the scheme.   

Our Head of Education and Development, Robbie Bryant, commented: “We’re really proud to have been selected as one of the providers who have access to the funding to support local SMEs to upskill their staff, which can only have a positive impact on economic growth within the region. 

We know every business wants to invest in staff training, but the cost is often a barrier, particularly during the current pandemic when purse strings are naturally even tighter.  

We will provide full assistance with the application process and as a long-established distance learning college, we are able to provide learners with the skills and qualifications they need without the impact on their working day of requiring to attend a physical college. The flexibility that our courses offer allows learners to complete their studies at their own pace and in line with Covid guidelines.” 

Eligible applicants include Small to Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) that: 

  • Have been actively trading for at least 6 months or more 
  • Are based within, or locating to, the more developed areas of The Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP), namely Birmingham, Redditch, Bromsgrove, Solihull and the Wyre Forest 
  • Can match fund the training costs (50% of training costs will be match funded by the employer*)  
  • Whilst SSP is open to all business sectors, we particularly welcome applications from sectors where there is significant job replacement demand 

To find out more, visit our Supplier Skills Programme page.

*Match funding cannot be sources from public funds. 

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Libby Barrett

As Digital Content Executive for OSC, I'm currently studying my IDM Digital Marketing qualification through distance learning. I absolutely love all things creative and when I'm not at Open Study College, I'm being a complete theatre nerd, performing in panto or amateur productions!

Funding for employees to study courses
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