Boost for Solent businesses seeking skills and apprenticeship support

Businesses across the Solent are set to receive an enhanced service offering free and impartial support on apprenticeship and skills programmes.

Southampton City Council, lead partner behind The Solent Apprenticeship Hub, recently won the contract to extend the existing apprenticeship service into one for broader skills support. The new service will be re-branded as the Solent Apprenticeship & Skills Hub and will build on the success of the existing service such as Transfer to Transform and Kickstart Aftercare, to “100 in 100”. The new Solent Apprenticeship & Skills Hub is a partnership between the three local authorities: Southampton City Council, Hampshire County Council and Portsmouth City Council.

In addition, through the Solent Apprenticeship & Skills Hub, Southampton City Council is providing a business support service for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) wanting to apply for grant funding under the Low Carbon Across the South and East (LoCASE) programme. Here, businesses can apply up to £10k for investment in low carbon/eco-innovation solutions as part of a wider drive to achieve Net Zero emission targets nationally and locally in Southampton through the Green City Charter.

Crucially, the pairing of the Solent Apprenticeship & Skills Hub with the Solent LEP Solent Growth Hub will see an integrated suite of services offered to the region’s business community; resulting in better signposting to support, improved account management and B2B networking opportunities, and extensive businesses engagement by a team of advisers dedicated to help employers in achieving their growth ambitions.

Jodi Fair, Manager of the Solent Apprenticeship & Skills Hub, said: ‘This is brilliant news for the Solent region’s employers looking for a single, broad service that will offer free impartial advice to streamline and grow their businesses. Our team is looking forward to continuing to offer our popular service of apprenticeship support but with additional reach and business support solutions.”

Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Growth, Councillor Jeremy Moulton, said: “The Solent Apprenticeship Hub has gone from strength to strength since its inception. The funding that’s been awarded to them will help them to make the natural progression to providing a skills based offering, working with employers in order to align the significant new opportunities for skills and jobs with local training provision and residents’ needs.”

SJ Hunt, Deputy Chair of the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership and Chair of the Solent LEP’s Business Task Force says: “Bringing together the support the Solent Apprenticeship and Skills Hub offers apprentices with the work our Growth Hub team carries out to help local SMEs is a great initiative, and one that is ever more important to the Solent’s productivity in this period of economic recovery.”

If you would like to learn more about the Solent Apprenticeship & Skills Hub, speak to a member of the team by visiting their website (www.solentapprenticeshiphub.com) or by emailing the team directly at hello@solentapprenticeshiphub.com.