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New free skills development service for SME staff
Dean White - August 5, 2015

A major new initiative, designed to help unlock small business productivity and growth in Stoke-on-Trent through the provision of quality HR and skills development support, has been unveiled recently by Shadow Education Secretary and Member of Parliament for Stoke-on-Trent Central, Tristram Hunt MP.

The People Skills programme has been developed by the CIPD, with support from J.P. Morgan through the JPMorgan Chase Foundation, and is being launched at an event today at the Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce, which is also delivering the service.

The twelve month research programme is being delivered in close collaboration with local partners in each of the project areas – Stoke-on-Trent, Hackney in East London and Glasgow – and will be embedded into their existing local business, skills and employment infrastructure to ensure easy access for local businesses.

Over the course of the twelve month project, the People Skills programme will be available at no cost to small businesses (SMEs), and will equip them with a range of bespoke HR support including 1-2-1 guidance from experienced HR professionals who will work alongside businesses and a telephone helpline to discuss employment and skills issues.

The People Skills programme will also offer online information and practical templates to help businesses save time when developing new employment processes. Furthermore, the service will also provide local networking and group training events delivered on related people management and skills development topics.

Shadow Education Minister, Tristram Hunt, and MP for Stoke-on-Trent Central who will be launching the local programme this evening, said:

“We know many young people find it hard to make the jump from education to work. Part of the problem is that there are not enough links between schools and colleges and local businesses and the fact that many small businesses can be reluctant to take on a young person because of the perceived ‘risk’ this entails.

“This is why I’m delighted to be launching the People Skills programme, which will be highlighting the business case for recruiting a young person and supporting local small businesses to invest in young people through things like work experience placements and apprenticeships.”