The first of its kind, GM Skills Map launched earlier this year to bridge the gap between workplace learning and course providers as part of the Skills for Growth – SME Support programme, a new support service commissioned by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority with funding from the European Social Fund, and delivered by GC Business Growth Hub in partnership with the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce. Serving as both a course directory and learning management system, business owners can filter their search by subject focus, accreditation, delivery style (remote, hybrid or in-person), as well as funding option, with a current total of 578 fully funded courses available across an array of industry sectors.
Tom Pickford on GM Skills Map for SMEs
Partnerships and Integration Manager at Skills for Growth – SME Support Tom Pickford has described GM Skills Map as “A game changer for SME organisations to be able to understand what training provision is available locally to them. We have providers from all 10 Local authority areas in Greater Manchester, so organisations can access training and development that is suitable and local to their organisation.
“We bring together fully funded, part funded and commercial courses onto one online directory so organisations can find the right course that is going to make them more productive in their role. If there isn’t a course that exactly fits the bill of what you’re looking for, our team will research this to be included on the database in the future for everyone’s benefit. The Skills Map has over 160 providers registered and over 1,600 courses which makes it the one of the most comprehensive regional training directories available in the UK, alongside the fully funded training needs analysis support from the team at Skills for Growth team makes it a no brainer for SMEs in Greater Manchester to take advantage of.”
Steve Green on GM Skills Map for Training Providers
GM Skills Map currently hosts over 1,600 courses from over 160 training providers, covering an array of learning options from Apprenticeships to short courses. As well as providing a service for businesses looking for training solutions, we are also working to help grow those businesses that offer the training solutions. Skills Map Officer Steven Green says about the platform “The training provider space is highly competitive which makes the task of finding prospective learners and tapping into new markets increasingly difficult.
“The GM Skills map aims to address this issue by making providers offerings available to a wide customer base through a single, easy to use learning managing system. At no cost to registered providers, we can promote their provision that is on the platform, make referrals that can grow a provider’s pipeline of future learners, and build a strong Provider network where we can share intelligence from the data gathered off the Skills map (e.g., popular provision, course demand where there is no supply, skills gaps, current/future skills trends etc.).”
Nic Hutchins on Skills for Growth – SME Support
While the GM Skills Map platform itself is a comprehensive tool, it is but the tip of the iceberg of the wider Skills for Growth – SME Support programme. Principal Lead at GMCA for Apprenticeships and Technical Education, and the Senior Responsible Officer for the ESF Skills for Growth project, Nic Hutchins appeared on the first series of the ‘Skills For Growth’ (skillsforgrowthsme.co.uk/more/skills-for-growth-podcast/) Podcast to explain how the programme will give employers a voice and an opportunity to influence future funding allocation and policymaking.
“It’s going to shift the skills system to really respond to employers’ needs and what they’re looking for, and what skill sets they are telling us they need”, by responding to the data gathered through employer feedback on the programme. For example, the demand for ‘green construction’ has led to a suite of fully funded, fully certified, and standardised retrofit training becoming available for the construction sector, all of which can be accessed through the GM Skills Map portal.”
Skills for Growth – SME Support is a fully funded service designed to upskill employees, improve productivity and drive growth for businesses in Greater Manchester. Each business is unique, so the programme is tailored to suite individual goals, needs and teams. Included in the programme:
– A dedicated Skills Coach (consultant) to guide you through the programme.
– Bespoke Skills Productivity Plan, a top-level diagnostic of skills gaps and growth potential in your business.
– Individual Skills Development Plans, mapping out training and career pathways for your employees.
– Access to GM Skills Map, exclusive course directory and learning management system.
– Specialist support with Apprenticeships and Health and Wellbeing.
– An array of expert-led workshops, webinars and events designed for SMEs.
– Referral to partners from across The Growth Company to support all your business needs.
Open the gateway to futureproof learning and business growth, contact Skills for Growth – SME Support today.
GC Business Growth Hub is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of a project designed to help ambitious SME businesses achieve growth and increase employment in Greater Manchester. The Hub is also supported by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority and Greater Manchester local authorities.