Is your SME business looking to diversify in the current climate? 

 Upskill your workforce and engage with new clients with a training grant from the Supply Chain Skills Development Fund.

Norfolk and Suffolk County Councils are working together to provide the Supply Chain Skills Development Fund, a grant scheme part funded by the European Social Fund (ESF).
Co-funding is available to help SMEs in our region access flexible training for their employees, to enhance and develop their skills and knowledge; making businesses more effective, competitive, and ready to exploit new contracting opportunities and support growth within the region. 

This project will help local employers identify the competencies and capabilities that their business will need in order to fully capitalise on opportunities resulting from large-scale infrastructure projects happening in the Norfolk and Suffolk area over the course of the next couple of years.

“We want to ensure all eligible SMEs benefit from grants of up to £5000 per company (max £1000 per employee and matched 50% by employer investment), for a wide range of training courses from colleges and training providers.” Michael Gray, Head of Skills at Suffolk County Council 


The Supply Chain Skills Development Fund, funded by ESF, provides grants to co-fund the development of the workforce in key local supply chains across Norfolk and Suffolk, enabling training that otherwise might not take place: 

  • Benefit SME businesses
  • Help create a stronger workforce
  • Increase profitability
  • Increase productivity
  • More efficiency
  • Better profits
  • Better business base
  • Qualified employees
  • Strengthen an SMEs ability to be more competitive and bid successfully to be part of a supply chain for local infrastructure opportunities

The Supply Chain Skills Development Fund has several objectives. To increase the skills levels of employed people from the existing level to the next level up and to encourage progression in employment. To increase the number of people with technical and job specific skills, particularly at level 3 and above to support business growth. To increase the skills levels of employed women and workers over
50 to encourage progression in employment and help address the gender and employment and wage gap.

ELIGIBILITY – who should apply?

Small to medium sized enterprises (with between 1-249 employees, trading for 6+ months with an annual turnover not exceeding £50 million and not owned more than 25% by a parent company) and located in Norfolk or Suffolk. 

The SME must be from one of the following sectors: Energy, Construction, IT & Digital, Science, Engineering, Manufacturing, Ports Logistics and looking to address the skills gap of their 18+ workforce and prepared to 50% match fund staff training. 

Course types covered are accredited training, non-accredited training, face to face training and online/digital training.

Any interested SME should email to tell us about their business and employee training needs.

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