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£37million to create a winning workforce in Wales
The Enhancing Leadership and Management Skills in Wales programme, backed with almost £16 million from the Convergence European Social Fund, will also work with over 5,000 businesses to develop motivated, competitive, and highly skilled individuals to drive the workforce and support a 21st century economy.
Over the next five years the initiative will provide grants to meet up to 70 per cent of costs to help employers fund their staff to develop their leadership and management skills, and will be accessible through the Workforce Development programme via the Assembly’s Flexible Support for Business (FS4B) service.
As part of the initiative, a consortium of partners involving Cardiff Business School, Cardiff University, Glyndŵr University School of Business and Tattum Guests Associates will provide an All-Wales Centre of Excellence, offering training, workshops, information and services to the business community to promote and drive up demand for leadership and management development and qualifications.
Mentoring and coaching training will be available to help individuals achieve the relevant skills and qualifications to provide support to managers and businesses to help them succeed.
Announcing the funding at the launch of the Centre for Excellence at Cardiff Business School, Deputy Minister for Skills John Griffiths said:
“Leadership and management skills are crucial to unlocking the potential within our workforce and vital to business success. Using European funding to maximise the impact, the programme will substantially increase the number of people in West Wales and the Valleys who attend and receive training in leadership and management skills.
“Increasing skills and boosting economic growth is a priority set out in our employment strategy, Skills that Work for Wales which, in turn, will bring benefit to businesses, individuals, the workforce and the economy."
Deputy First Minister Ieuan Wyn Jones added:
"This new initiative will help businesses in Wales develop the right leadership skills to benefit from the opportunities that a recovering world economy will bring. Our ability to compete effectively on the global stage will be based on our ability to provide strong business leaders - who in turn will drive a motivated and highly skilled workforce. This new programme therefore has the potential to generate a step change in performance of Welsh companies and a subsequent improvement in the prosperity of the Welsh economy.”
Centre Director, Gary Walpole of Cardiff Business School, said:
“Within UK universities there is a vast amount of knowledge which can have a positive, practical implication for businesses. Previously, accessing this information has not been easy for busy business people who do not have the time to trawl resources.
“This new Centre will take this knowledge directly to a business audience by providing a resource for information and services open to the business community within Wales.”