Almost 2,000 people working across different industries in Greater Manchester will benefit from fully-funded training thanks to a £1.5m cash boost.

Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) has awarded contracts to Growth Company and Seetec Outsource as part of its three-year Skills for Growth programme funded through the European Social Fund.

Both will deliver bespoke training that has been shaped in partnership with employers to plug skills gaps they are struggling to fill.

Seetec Outsource will support a minimum of 1,200 people working in the logistics industry to navigate a post-Brexit world as businesses face challenges around new import and export rules. They will also focus on upskilling in the planning, control and scheduling aspects of the sector.

Following feedback from employers in Greater Manchester identifying a need to upskill people across a number of industries with project management skills, Growth Company will work with Back2Work to deliver ‘Project Management for All’.

It will focus on individuals who do not specifically work in project management roles but carry out elements of this in their day job. The training will support a minimum of 750 people and will be suitable for people working across a number of different industries.

Councillor Eamonn O’Brien, leader of Bury Council and Greater Manchester’s lead for Education, Work, Skills, Apprenticeships and Digital said: “There is a pressing need for more highly-skilled people than ever before who are trained effectively to grow our economy and raise productivity.

“In Greater Manchester we have a growing, dynamic economy and we have ambitions for a world class integrated skills system to match it.

“We’ve been making some real progress over recent years and the Skills for Growth programme is just one fantastic example of how we work collaboratively to provide a relevant offer to our businesses, which is tailored and responsive to their needs.”

Seetec and Growth Company will offer a blended and flexible approach to learning that can be applied in practice. All courses will be accredited at Level 3 or equivalent and will put individuals in a stronger position to either access higher apprenticeships or progression routes in the workplace.

Jen Leggat, Business Development Project Manager at Growth Company said: “Since the shift to home and hybrid working throughout the pandemic, project working and collaboration has been difficult in some organisations. We recognise the importance of developing key knowledge and skills in management and leadership and although employers are now seeing the value in project management techniques and processes, they are struggling to find people who already possess these skills.

“Therefore, we have developed a suite of training using real-time employer feedback that will not only support businesses in Greater Manchester to enhance their workforce but will also inspire individuals in the region to develop new professional skills.”

Lloyd DeVal, Director of Sector Skills at Seetec Outsource, added: “Serving as a foundation sector of Greater Manchester’s economy, Logistics and Infrastructure will play a critical role in supporting social and economic growth within the region.

“The industry is currently going through a period of rapid and unprecedented transformation. Changing customer requirements, emerging technologies and the digital transformation of the business environment mean that upskilling workers will be key to ensuring businesses can keep up with the rapid pace of change.

“We look forward to working closely with employers in the region to co-develop skills provision that builds workforce capability and increases productivity. As an award-winning provider with significant expertise and experience within the logistics sector, Seetec Outsource is well placed to deliver the skilled workforce that Greater Manchester needs to meet current and future challenges and embrace opportunities for growth.”

The partnership marks another step forward in the city-region’s approach to better joining up the post-19 skills system.

Coun O’Brien continued: “Skills for Growth is supporting our efforts to ensure businesses have the talent pool they need and demonstrates how working in an integrated way with the business community can have a positive impact on economic recovery.

“We’re seeing these benefits in other areas too, including our devolved Adult Education Budget and by getting more people into work. The more pieces we add to this jigsaw, the stronger and clearer our local offer can be.”

Skills for Growth is an innovative programme that has been developed to fill skills gaps in a number of industries in Greater Manchester. So far, nine lead partners have been brought on board to deliver support to businesses and training to individuals working across the digital, health and social care, construction, manufacturing and logistics industries.

Almost 2,000 individuals have so far enrolled onto a fully-funded course and to date, nearly 500 people have completed training.

This is in addition to the support offered through the Skills for Growth – SME Support arm of the programme, which is earmarked for any small to medium enterprise in the city-region to gain up to six months’ worth of tailored, expert guidance from dedicated Skills Coaches.

Find out more about Skills for Growth and both courses.