Skills for Clean Growth for SMEs in West of England launches

Media Relations Team, 10 February 2022

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Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the West of England will be able to benefit from skills and workforce development to help them transition to a low carbon economy, thanks to the Skills for Clean Growth (SCG) programme, which launches in January 2022.

SCG is a free business support programme to help drive the region’s ambitions for clean and inclusive growth, as part of the Workforce for the Future programme and the objective of reaching net-zero by 2030. The University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) is leading the programme in collaboration with NatWest and the West of England Combined Authority (WECA).

Funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) and running until May 2023, the programme offers a range of skills development, training and CPD, as well as the leadership skills needed to build a clean growth strategy and the knowledge and tools to achieve sustainability.

Professor Martin Boddy, who is Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research and Enterprise at UWE Bristol, said: “With funding from the European Social Fund awarded by the West of England Combined Authority and working with our delivery partners, NatWest, we will enable SMEs across the region attract, develop and retain the skilled workforce they need for the future. The project is focused on working towards a net-zero carbon, green future. Participants in the Skills for Clean Growth programme will learn about existing low-carbon practices and discover some of the ways they can best implement these in practical terms in their future activities.”

SMEs will be offered support to help evaluate their low carbon status and identify the skills required to plan and implement clean business practices and behaviours. Based on the results, they will receive an action plan and bespoke training options for their workforce, including workshops with academics and industry representatives.

To be eligible for support, applicants must have a presence in the West of England (Bath & North East Somerset, Bristol, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset) and be a small or medium-sized enterprise (SME).

West of England Metro Mayor Dan Norris said: “There is a climate emergency and everyone is going to have to do their bit to help build a greener future. As we change the way we make goods and retrofit our homes we will need a new skilled workforce. That is of course also a significant opportunity to create high-skilled, well-paid, green jobs. I’m pleased to be able to offer this support so workers will get the skills they need to meet the demands of a greener economy.”

The SCG programme will be accepting registrations from today. For more information, click here to access the Skills for Clean Growth website. If you would like to get in touch before registering your interest or have any questions, please email the team.

Alongside the SCG programme, SMEs can access other support from expert partners through the West of England Combined Authority Growth Hub.

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