Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) has begun the procurement process for a £7m contract to support its Skills for Growth programme.
The contract is specifically seeking a number of elements including collaboration with SMEs and micro businesses, to gather intelligence on the occupational skills gaps they are currently faced with or expect to face in the future.
It will also aim to deliver at least 3,000 “skills for productivity” plans for SMEs, and identify at least 15,000 individuals in those SMEs and tailor make skills development plans for them.
The final element of this programme will look to provide intelligence to the GMCA and its partners on skills gaps and training needs, with data received to help commission training providers to meet these needs.
The contract is up to the value of £7m and is expected to be awarded in September, for delivery to begin in Oct 2020, lasting until Autumn 2023.
Sectors outlined in the Greater Manchester’s Local Industrial Strategy will be the focus of the contract, including health and care, advanced manufacturing materials and digital.
It will not only identify the skills gaps, but also identity priority groups, including older workers, those of low pay, women and under-represented group and focus on technical and job specific skills at level three and above.
Councillor Sean Fielding, GMCA portfolio lead for employment, skills and digital, said:
“We know that we need to provide the right skills training to improve productivity, be competitive and deliver on the ambitions of our Local Industrial Strategy.
“This commission will provide small and medium businesses in Greater Manchester with the talent pipeline they need for the future.
“It will do this by identifying and supporting those who would benefit from upskilling and reskilling.
“The covid crisis has, of course, made everything so much more difficult for businesses across all sectors.
“However, we have developed strong relationships with businesses during the crisis through the work of our councils in administering support grants, so we have a head start in understanding their needs.
“This programme will help us build on that knowledge to support our workforce to adapt and take advantage of the new opportunities that will come in our growth sectors.”
Procurement of skills delivery is not part of this tender.