Last Chance to Gain Lifeline Support For Businesses to Develop Skills

Tees Valley Combined Authority | Published on: 24th July 2023

Businesses are being urged to take advantage of the last chance to apply for a lifeline scheme to help nurture the skills of their workers.

There is one week left for firms to apply for the Skills For Growth programme, part-funded by the European Social Fund, to help offer advice, training and skills to their workforce.

New figures from the Tees Valley Combined Authority showed no fewer than 1,434 people have benefitted from training through the scheme – with more than 500 firms taking part.

Delivered in collaboration with Teesside University Business School, the programme helps small and medium-sized businesses with fewer than 250 employees.

As part of the programme, these firms can access funded support from an expert. They will help bosses find any skills gaps their company has now or may have in years to come.

Hartlepool-based Sterling Polymers has been one company to benefit from the programme.

Chris O’Farrell, Operations & Compliance Director at Sterling Polymers, said: “It’s been great to secure support through Skills For Growth – and it will really help us in bringing through the next generation of staff while nurturing who we have.

“I’d urge other businesses to take a look as it can be geared towards your needs.”

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “This programme has been great in making sure firms across Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool can respond to business opportunities by identifying skills gaps, helping their workers to enhance their existing skills and to learn new ones.

“This gives local people real, practical qualifications and professional development to help them advance in their career, and their employers to grow their business.

“With less than a week left to apply, I’d really encourage businesses to get in touch if they haven’t already.”

Skills for Growth is a joint initiative with Teesside University and is part-funded by the European Social Fund as part of the 2014-2020 European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme in England.

The fund closes on 31st July.

For a last chance to apply this week, visit or contact [email protected] to sign up.

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