Workforce for the Future

Through this programme you’ll receive free support over three years from our expert partners to ensure your business can identify ongoing skills needs, unlock opportunities, drive change and invest in your current and future workforce.

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Workforce for the Future is free to join and available to SMEs with less than 250 employees based in the West of England (Bath & North East Somerset, Bristol, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset). 

Our expert partners will analyse and develop the skills of your employees, implement development plans to upskill or retrain your staff and support you to bring in new talent. Support is available until mid 2023 and can be flexed to suit your business' needs, allowing you to start and pause support dependent on your requirements. 

Register your details today and we'll be in touch to discuss your requirements.


What exactly will I get from the programme?

  • Confidence in safeguarding jobs, reimagining your existing workforce and recruiting sufficiently skilled employees from local pools of talent.
  • The latest approaches to open and inclusive recruitment so you can reduce your skills gaps and improve connectivity with the local skills system.
  • Access to an experienced Skills Adviser who will help you develop your workforce.
  • A Workforce Development Plan and strategy to put into place.
  • Access a suite of online tools, resources and workshops.
  • Funding for skills training programmes.
  • Strategic planning and change management guidance.
  • Support with apprenticeships and student placements.

Download our brochure for more information.


We'll deliver:

1. Workforce development planning > Workforce for the Future will help you to create a workforce development plan to make sure your business is fit for the future. With the support of an experienced Skills Adviser, you will:

  • Develop and implement a Workforce Development Plan
  • Better understand your business' current, new and emerging skills needs
  • Identify relevant skills support, programmes or training options
  • Access a suite of online tools, resources and workshops

2. Access to training and skills development > Workforce for the Future will support you to identify and implement staff training, such as increasing digital skills to meet changing business needs. Through the programme you will bring new skills to your business by:

  • Building your understanding of the training options for your staff
  • Accessing the right training & support to upskill or reskill your employees
  • Joining a support network to share and learn from best practice

3. Access to resource > Secure the right resource for your business - such as an apprentice, intern, or work placement. Workforce for the Future can help you:

  • Identify where an apprenticeship or placement could be created
  • Access financial support to fund the role
  • Prepare for the role and recruit the right candidate.

4. Talent retention > Consider the options available to you to help you address business requirements such as reducing costs, whilst:

  • Retaining and developing talent within your business
  • Safeguarding jobs and supporting your employees through any changes.

5. Education and skills pathways > Workforce for the Future will provide education and training providers with insight on the skills and knowledge SMEs will need for the future. Engaging with education providers means your business can benefit from:

  • Influencing training programmes and curricula to develop future talent.
  • Access to a pool of placement-ready students with ongoing support provided by their FE College placement teams.
  • Engagement with potential future employees, building the profile of your business with the region’s school and college students.

Our expert delivery partners


Adviza's Talent Retention Team will support the region’s rapid response to help local small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) retain and redeploy talent and maintain stability during the economic downturn, whilst safeguarding jobs and opportunities for local young people and adults. The primary focus of the SME Talent Retention Team programme is supporting employers to retain or deploy staff in meaningful employment. 

Business West

Business West's SME Needs Analysis service offers in-depth impartial support, situational skills needs analysis and workforce development and action planning. They provide immediate help with skills and workforce challenges post Covid, and long-term guidance to enable SMES to interrogate their ongoing skills needs and invest in their current and future workforce.

University of the West of England Bristol (UWE)

UWE's Digital Workforce for the Future Core Delivery Service engages with SMEs to enhance and improve digital skills provision across the region. It provides SMEs across all industry sectors with a deeper understanding of their digital skills needs and solutions for addressing them.

UWE also supports employers to recruit and develop talent from under-represented groups, and; connecting industry to talent from under-represented groups, developing processes for new talent to enter and thrive in the Creative Sector, bridging the gap from education to work.

Western Training Provider Network (WTPN)

WTPN's Apprenticeship Team is a specialist service harnessing the power a forty-strong consortium of local colleges, universities and specialist training providers. The service will revive business performance and productivity whilst creating new opportunities for residents.

Medium-level support will involve SMEs exploring their workforce and apprenticeship needs, gaining a clear understanding of the apprenticeship system, accessing independent 1-1 support and guidance on apprenticeships and being assigned a college or training provider through a managed handover to continue their apprenticeship journey.

High-level support will include one-to-one sessions, group workshops and bespoke support to help design and deliver workforce and apprenticeship development plans and apprentices starting within the business.

FE/HE College Consortium - City of Bristol

The Talent Accelerator initiative is a unique collaboration of the three West of England colleges to provide a region-wide solution to support SMEs in their future workforce planning and development, in identifying and sourcing the talent and skills training they need to innovate and prosper and to overcome any barriers to engaging with regional education providers.

FE/HE College Consortium - Weston College

SMEs will receive a clear plan of how to engage with an FE college partner through the Talent Accelerator and receive dedicated support to mobilise that plan. SMEs will also have the opportunity to actively engage with the college partner in a number of ways, including guest lectures, live project briefs for learners to participate in, work experience and industry placements, apprenticeships and training for the SME’s staff. The colleges will draw upon their talent pool of learners to select suitable candidates for placement and employment roles,  matching candidate skills to opportunities.

European Social Fund

The project has received £4m of funding from the European Social Fund as part of the 2014-2020 European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme in England. The Department for Work and Pensions (and in London the intermediate body Greater London Authority) is the Managing Authority for the England European Social Fund programme. Established by the European Union, the European Social Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support skills development, employment and job creation, social inclusion and local community regenerations. For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding.

Our team will work with you to understand your business requirements, and connect you to one or more of our expert partners depending on the support you need.

Workforce for the Future service providers are: