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pounds 20m GRANT TO HELP TRAINING; More businesses to benefit from subsidies.

Byline: By NEIL HODGSON Industry Reporter

A NEW three-year deal to subsidise training for Merseyside businesses has been guaranteed with a pounds 20m European grant.

The Learning and Skills Council (LSC) has clinched the European Social Fund cash to pay for 60% of training costs in an extension of the SkillWorks scheme launched in July 2003.

Since then more than 3,000 small and medium-sized Merseyside companies have improved their performance by accessing demand-led training schemes through SkillWorks approved consultants.

SkillWorks initially offered 80% subsidies but due to its popularity the extended scheme, to July 2008, will pay 60% towards training costs.

Elaine Bowker, the LSC's executive director, said: 'SkillWorks has been one of our most successful training initiatives to date, with more than 3,100 businesses accessing training already.

'It's fantastic that we have been able to extend the scheme until July 2008 and that we have such a committed team of partners on board to deliver the training.

'It is programmes such as SkillWorks that will help to bridge any skill gaps in the region and develop a world-class workforce with a competitive edge.'

Funding can be accessed from today. Businesses can log on to www.theskillworks.co.uk or call the SkillWorks gateway on 0808 178 1782 for further information.

Training partners approved by the LSC so far include Asset Training and Consultancy, Blue Orchid Management Consultants, Halton Business and Workforce Partnership, Liverpool John Moores university, Knowsley Associates, NVQ Training, Partnership for Learning, St Helens college, Software Generation, St Helens Chamber, SYSCO and Weston Spirit
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Apr 1, 2005
Words:258
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