Workforce development

The West of England Combined Authority's Growth Hub provides 360-degree business support for small and medium sized businesses.

Take a strategic approach to the training and development of your workforce. Not only will you profit from a competitive position, but you'll also be well placed to adjust to changing external influences. Stay ahead of the game with effective training and develop a culture of learning to enable your business to move onwards and upwards. We'll help equip your employees with new skills, knowledge and experience so your business can evolve and thrive in the future.

We've outlined the workforce skills and development training, programmes and mental health services on offer. Request a call-back today.

Workforce for the Future

Get support 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. Workforce for the Future provides free tailored, in-depth support to help your business plan and adapt now and for the future.

What will I get?

  1. Workforce development planning
  2. Access to training such as digital skills development
  3. Access to new resource such as apprentices, interns or work placements
  4. Talent retention 
  5. Education and skills pathways 

Download our brochure for more information.

Thrive at Work West of England

Our Thrive at Work programme has been designed to support business leaders with the mental health and wellbeing of their workforce. With national restrictions lifting and people returning to work, supporting the mental health of your employees is more prevalent that ever. 

We have a variety of easy access tools and resources to help you apply best practice. We can also advise on implementing the Mental Health at Work Commitment and Mental Health Work Standards.

Our most popular tool is the free e-Learning for line managers to support their direct reports, developed in partnership with Mind Charity.  

Employability and skills portal

Across the West of England, we’re working with partners to ensure that all our residents have the opportunity to get the skills and training they need to succeed, and to secure the jobs that are being created here.

This portal lists the support services and training available in the West of England, to help you to find the right support – whether you’re joining the workforce for the first time, looking for a new job opportunity or planning how to progress at work.

Click through to download our guides that bring together the local, regional and national skills, training and employment services available to residents and businesses in the West of England.

Plan for Jobs

As part of the Chancellor’s Plan for Jobs there are a range skills programmes, some of which offer financial incentives, that are available for employers who are considering hiring employees or offering work experience. A total of £1.6 billion will be invested in scaling up employment support schemes, training and apprenticeships to help people looking for a job.

Businesses will be given £2,000 for each new apprentice they hire under the age of 25. This is in addition to the existing £1,000 payment the Government already provides for new 16-18-year-old apprentices and those aged under 25 with an Education, Health and Care Plan. Learn more about how businesses are making the most of apprenticeship incentives.

An additional exciting talent planning route for your business could see a young person joining your organisation for a Kickstart placement then progress onto an apprenticeship with you. You would have access to the full range of financial support the government provides for apprenticeships.

Apprenticeships and the Kickstart Scheme are two of a number of incentives can help you to invest in your business, help people upskill and improve their chances of securing a good job in a highly competitive labour market giving your business an edge to support your overall goals.  

To learn more about the offers available and how to apply please visit GOV.UK or talk to us today.


The government has introduced incentive payments for hiring a new apprentice. This support is available for any organisation of any size, no matter the size or sector. Get up to £2,000 for each new apprentice. Find out more on the government webpage.

We're here to help with apprenticeships.

Our Workforce for the Future programme is a free support service designed to help you with your current and future business needs. Workforce for the Future will help you secure the right resource for your business - such as an apprentice, intern, or work placement. You will be supported to:

  • Identify what type of placement, including apprenticeships, is best for your business' needs and where to find them.
  • Access financial support to fund the role.
  • Prepare for the role and recruit the right candidate.


Access to resource is offered by WECA's Careers Hub, WTPN and our further education college partners.

Pledge your unspent apprenticeship levy

Pledge your unspent apprenticeship levy with our partner WTPN. The #ShareToSupport fund is calling on large employers to pledge their unspent apprenticeship levy to support the recovery of small businesses across the West of England. 
If you are working within a large business – those with a payroll over £3m who contribute to the Apprenticeship Levy – then we want to help you realise the potential of your levy. We know that whilst millions raised by the Apprenticeship Levy is currently going unspent in the West of England, small businesses have been hit disproportionately by Covid-19. By passing on a proportion of your levy, your business can support job creation and progression opportunities in the region by funding training in smaller companies, including those in your supply chain and sector.

Kickstart Scheme

The government's Kickstart Scheme provides funding to cover 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week, plus associated employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions for Kickstart placements. There is also £1,500 per job placement available for setup costs, support and training. 

The scheme is helping to put young people who have been some of the hardest hit by the economic impact of the pandemic on the first rung of their career ladder. The start dates for these jobs vary but will all begin this year. The government will make it even simpler for employers of all sizes to benefit from joining the scheme by removing the limit requiring they create a minimum of 30 vacancies to apply directly.

You can now apply for a Kickstart Scheme grant by either: 

  • Applying online yourself. 
  • Getting help from a Kickstart gateway who is already working with the Kickstart Scheme. 
  • Employers can spread the start date of the job placements up until the end of December 2021. 
  • If you need help with the Kickstart Scheme process, contact your local Kickstart Scheme contacts

You can also find out about the terms and conditions for employers which are in effect now.