City councillors have accepted almost £1m of external funding to expand a project so that even more local businesses and employees can access skills and training.

The D2N2 Skills Access Hub was set up in April 2020 with an award of £4.8m and since then has been supporting 888 small and medium-sized businesses to access skills provision and 2,220 individuals to improve their own skills attainment.

By agreeing the extra £926,633 of funding, the council can increase the number of businesses supported to 1,060 and the number of individuals supported to 2,650. Half the funding will come from the European Social Fund and half will come from Skills Access Hub delivery partners including the University of Nottingham, West Nottinghamshire College, Futures, Direct Help and Advice, and Nottingham College. At least half of the project participants are expected to be based in Nottingham.

The project will help towards the council’s aims to:

  • Increase the number of Nottingham residents with Level 2 qualifications
  • Create 15,000 new jobs for Nottingham people
  • Continue to support residents into work through the Nottingham Jobs Hub
  • Support 1,000 residents into work by securing external funding for programmes across the city
  • Support 1,000 more Nottingham young people into learning and work with businesses to create 500 new apprenticeships.

The Nottingham Jobs Service will work with colleagues in Adult Social Care services to ensure the project supports adults with additional needs to access skills and training opportunities. The project will also continue to reduce the skills gap across Nottingham and help to create a more productive and profitable SME sector.

Portfolio Holder for Skills, Growth and Economic Development, Councillor Rebecca Langton, said: “The D2N2 Skills Access Hub has been incredibly successful at matching local employers and people with skills providers to reduce the skills gap across Nottingham and help to create a more productive and profitable SME sector.

“We were pleased to accept this funding so the project can be widened to include even more businesses and workers so that they can thrive and achieve their potential.”