Skills Support

Fully funded workplace training

For SME’s in Devon & Somerset

What Are The Benefits Of Upskilling Your Staff?

Skills Support for the Workforce (SSW) is a new government funded workplace skills programme tailored to the needs of businesses in your area. learndirect is delivering this programme through our network of high quality training providers in Devon & Somerset.

learndirect is working in partnership with the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership & the Heart of the South West Growth Hub to provide a range of bespoke training programmes and qualifications. These include IT, leadership and management, as well as a comprehensive range of vocationally-relevant courses targeting specific sectors. Our training programmes are designed to address skills gaps within local businesses, with a focus on the LEPs’ priority sectors to help boost the local economy in Devon & Somerset.

If you’d like to improve business productivity, we can provide you with funded, accredited training to boost the confidence and efficiency of your staff through new skills and qualifications.

Our approach is tailored to meet the unique needs of your business and your people – one of our local experts will visit you to carry out a free consultation, after which they will develop a bespoke training plan designed to tackle skills gaps in your workforce.

Our training is flexible – it can be delivered direct to staff on your premises, at one of our local centres or wherever there’s access to the internet.

Across the skills support for the workforce programme in Devon & Somerset we have:


Employers engaged


Learners engaged

95 %

Achievement rate

Priority Sector Updates


  • Increased investment in infrastructure and construction output is projected to grow at 3.1%, the second fastest annual rate outside Wales.
  • The core skills needs for construction in the south west area is that workforce’s are aging and there is an increased need for apprentices, essentially referring to a younger overall workforce.
  • The sector has experienced increases in new orders in 2015 the largest being in public housing sector which rose by 90%.
  • New orders reached £3.64 bn in the first three quarters of last year, annually 16% higher for 2016 than 2015.

* Source: HotSW LEP

Find out more about construction funded training in Devon & Somerset

Food & Drink Manufacturing

  • The UK’s food and drink manufacturing sector contributes approximately £28bn in GVA per annum and in 2016 exported goods worth nearly £14bn to the EU and the rest of the world. The manufacture of food and drink is an important sector of the HotSW economy.
  • The sector provides employment in roles ranging from high tech, professional and managerial occupations, including food scientists and engineers, to lower skilled roles appealing to a broad section of the workforce.
  • As with all manufacturing sub-sectors, the sector is adapting and taking advantage of new technological developments and increasing use of automation to increase efficiency.
  • A skilled workforce is important for the success of the sector, with many jobs requiring hands-on and practical skills; however, typically low pay in the sector can act as a disincentive for the potential workforce.

* Source: HotSW LEP

Find out more about food & drink manufacturing funded training in Devon & Somerset:

Health & Social Care

  • Skills needs in the health & social care sector includes tackling ageing workforces, increasing apprenticeship take up and increasing recruitment and retention.
  • Health and Social Care output in the South West was approximately £3.50bn in 2014.
  • There are approximately 116,000 people employed in the health and social care sector in the South West.
  • A key emerging opportunity in Somerset includes the Musgrave Park Hospital and Somerset Partnership formal collaboration to integrate Health and Social Care Services; Taunton and Somerset NHS Trust ‘digital transformation’ partnership with Google’s DeepMind.

* Source:  HotSW LEP

Find out more about health & social care funded training in Devon & Somerset:

Tourism & Leisure

  • Skills needs in the tourism, leisure and hospitality sectors include tackling ageing workforces, increasing apprenticeship take up and increasing recruitment and retention.
  • Tourism, leisure and hospitality sector output in the South West was approximately £8.50bn in 2017.
  • Total tourist expenditure is set to rise 26.5% to £14.6bn by 2017 (Source: Barclays).
  • 4.5%  of the economic output in the south west can be directly attributable to the tourism spend.
  • There are approximately 288,000 people employed in the tourism, leisure and hospitality sector in the South West in 2014 – 10% of the total workforce in the region (source: BHA).
  • The South West has the highest concentration of hospitality employment in the UK.

* Source: HotSW LEP

Find out more about leisure, tourism & hospitality funded training in Devon & Somerset:

How are businesses benefiting

What can skills support for the workforce do for your business?

  • Increase productivity and save money
  • Improve staff retention
  • Flexible delivery to minimise business impact
  • Employees communicate, participate and contribute more effectively
  • Builds a personalised learning plan to feed into probation and annual review process
  • Linking in with LEP business initiatives to support your business
  • Accredited training

Training provided by:

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What others say about us…

Luc Logan

“The service has been great and the package on offer is really great.”

Luc LoganBusiness Unit Manager | Italia Formaggi - Exeter
Jess Caines

“We chose learndirect because they have a great range of courses on offer.”

Jess CainesTeam Member | Aspen Services - Bridgwater
Charles Dowson

“We are definitely seeing the benefit in terms of productivity and confidence.”

Charles DowsonHead of Finance | DIY Doctor - Mells
Karen Floyde

“I would recommend the training learndirect has delivered because it’s very beneficial.”

Karen FloydeCustomer Service | Pelican Chips - Devon
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