Fully funded business support for SMEs
Equip your business with the skills for growth
Skills for Growth – SME Support is a fully funded skills consultation service tailored to help upskill employees, improve productivity and drive business growth. Our expert skills consultants work at your pace to help you grow your business by identifying skills gaps, developing your talent and enhancing your team’s performance.
Learn more about our support for businesses and find out how we will help you grow your business through skills development.
Start your Skills for Growth journey today
Apply for Skills for Growth - SME Support and start upskilling your team today!
Explore our services
Tailored business support
Explore our tailored support for individual sectors and business needs.
We're here to empower employees, leaders and business owners alike through the power of skills, training and future-forward learning. Learn more how we can help you through our skills consultation.
Courses & Training
Search thousands of fully funded and commercial courses from top training providers in the region with GM Skills Map, our purpose-built training course directory and learning management system.
Workshops and events
Sign up for our tailored workshops and events, led by experts, bespoke to the needs to SMEs in Greater Manchester. We run regular workshops, seminars and live events throughout the year.
Learn to improve productivity by embedding wellness into your company culture, or get help with all things apprenticeships through our support service tailored to your needs.
Dedicated skills consultants
Once registered for the programme, you will be assigned a dedicated Skills Coach who will remain with you throughout your journey. They will work with you to identify skills gaps within your business and help you develop a practical action plan to upskill employees and accelerate growth throughout your business.
We put together some commonly asked questions to give you more information about our Skills for Growth – SME Support programme and the services we offer.
The Skills for Growth – SME Support programme is designed to help business in Greater Manchester to identify key skills gaps, improve productivity and explore the opportunity for growth.
Absolutely nothing! The Skills for Growth – SME Support programme is a fully funded programme.
At no cost to your business, with as little or as much support as you need for up to 26 weeks, we help you get the skills for growth.
Skills for Growth – SME Support is commissioned by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), funded by the European Social Fund and run in partnership with the GC Business Growth Hub and the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce.
To start, your business must be an SME within the Greater Manchester area. This means that your business must have between 1-249 employees and an office address with a Greater Manchester postcode.
The Skills for Growth – SME Support programme covers the 10 Boroughs of Greater Manchester - Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford and Wigan.
Simply fill in the form (within 1 minute) and one of our team will contact you directly.
As SMEs, we know that your time is precious, so we have worked hard to streamline the process so that it is convenient for you. One of our Skills Coaches will be assigned to take you through the simple process either in-person or online via a Teams call.
Step 1 – Business Diagnostic, getting to know you
Your dedicated Skills Coach will get to know everything about you – your business, your goals, and why you came to us for help. Using that information, they’ll check your eligibility for the programme and help you get registered over the phone.
Step 2 – Tailored Development Plans
Your Skills Coach will take a deeper look at the skills gaps and growth potential within your team(s) and formalise this as a tailored productivity plan for your business, and individual learning plans for your employees. Coming from all reaches of Greater Manchester and beyond, with sector-specific experts also available in the team, they know the business landscape of your local area, and are in the best position to give impartial tailored advice on the options available to you.
Find out more: Business Skill Consultation, Map & Plan Your Staff Training & Development With Our Courses & Advisors | Skills for Growth (skillsforgrowthsme.co.uk)
Once you have completed the enrolment process, we will deliver a customised programme that will aim to support you, your business and your employees. This typically takes from 13 to 26 weeks but we can customise the length of support delivered and in all instances, we aim to work as efficiently as possible so your employees can get started on their up-skill journey as quickly as possible.
Throughout your time on programme, you will have the support of your assigned Skills Coach as well as access to our in programme learning platform that has over 400 courses that you and your employees would have open access to of which 98 are focussed on IT skills development as well as access to GM Skills Map which is the directory of more than 2000 funded, part funded and commercial training opportunities from across more than 200 training providers.
The programme can work with all the key sectors to include but not exclusively:
Retail, Construction, Digital, Early Years, Non-Statutory Education, Health and Social Care, Hospitality, Logistics, Manufacturing, Retail, Creative, Tech and Culture.
Sectors or businesses within faith or religion, tobacco or tobacco related products or services, gambling or the sex trade are not eligible to participate.
Once registered for the programme, you will be assigned a dedicated Skills Coach who will remain with you throughout your journey. Our Skills Coaches will work with you to identify skills gaps within your business and help you develop a practical action plan to upskill employees and accelerate growth throughout your business. They will signpost to training options and solutions to address those skills gaps.
Skills Coaches | Skills for Growth - SME Support (skillsforgrowthsme.co.uk)
The programme has engaged with over 6,400 businesses, with more than 3,600 businesses registered and using our services.
Up to the end of 2022, more than 7,200 employees have used our services to upskill themselves.
Start your Skills for Growth Journey Today
Apply for Skills for Growth - SME Support and start upskilling your team today