LEP invests over £1.5 million into training local businesses

The Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) have invested over £1.5 million into funded training for businesses through their pioneering skills service.

One business benefitting is D E Ford, a Yorkshire insurance broker where staff have been given the chance to further develop their careers, with the help of funding from the LEP.

The £7,715 LEP grant is being used by D E Ford to provide training and skills development to a number of employees, which will enhance personal development for individuals and develop their skills sets.

D E Ford, a family-run business which specialises in insurance and risk management, currently employs 60 members of staff, 40 of whom underwent the training. The training programme focussed on staff development and will enable employees to deliver a better quality service to customers.

The business has previously been recognised for its careers development, after winning a prestigious Best People Development award in 2015.

Rob Allison, D E Ford’s Operations Director, said: “We approached the LEP because we want to ensure that we have the best structure in place internally to support the career paths of our staff as a part of our process of continuous improvement.

“With the skills service, we’ll have the opportunity to invest in the capabilities of our employees, and ensure that our clients receive an excellent level of service. This will result in a strengthened company reputation, which will in turn help the business to grow.

“We believe our people are vital to the success of our business and through continued and increased investment of resource and funding we will assist the development and improvement of their skills and knowledge which will continue to benefit all of our clients.”

LEP Board member and chair of the skills service management board, said: “We’re delighted that we could provide D E Ford with the funding that the business needs for the next stage of its expansion plan.

“As we approach the one year anniversary of the skills service, the benefits of investing in workforce development have never been clearer. Businesses that undertake training see increased productivity, profitability and staff morale. The LEP is dedicated to ensuring local businesses primed for growth have the skills to succeed and I would urge businesses to take advantage of this opportunity and apply.”

Eric Hawthorn, Chair, Business Innovation and Growth Panel and Managing Director, Radio Design Limited added: “The skills service is part of a wider LEP offering that helps businesses to reach their growth targets. D E Ford approached the LEP to discuss their wider business needs and were signposted to the skills service for support and funding for training. It’s great to really see the LEP’s holistic offer to businesses in action – no matter what a business requires the LEP is here to help. Already we have supported over 500 businesses to develop, and helping firms to train staff and upskill from within is a huge part of facilitating growth.”

To celebrate the anniversary of the LEP’s Skills service which was launched in February 2015, the LEP are hosting a Twitter conversation or “TwitChat” to enable businesses interested in advice on funding for training to ask their questions to a panel of skills advisers and business people who will share their insights on addressing skills shortages and the benefits of investing in training.

The TwitChat will take place on 29th February 12pm – 1pm and businesses can pose their questions to our panel live. Alternatively, you can submit questions in advance of the TwitChat to the LEP’s Twitter account @LeedsCityRegion using the hashtag #LEPskillsadvice.