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The Skills for Growth Programme is here to help Tees Valley SMEs fill any skills gaps within their team – now, or in the future – to boost productivity, and improve their competitive position.

Need to upskill your team, but missing a HR department to help you get there? You can access funded support from an expert skills development advisor to help you pin-point your business’s skills needs, navigate your options, and access further training, or support needed to grow.

From work experience and work placements, to traineeships, apprenticeships and graduate placements, there are a host of opportunities available across Tees Valley to develop your team.

The Skills for Growth Programme will further support local SMEs to deal with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, while supporting workers to develop the skills they already have and learn new ones – giving local people real, practical qualifications and professional development to help them advance in their career.


How will the programme work?

The Skills for Growth Programme acts as a streamlined gateway to help Tees Valley SMEs access the skills training and support available locally.

Through access to specialist skills development advisors, you will be supported to:

  1. Identify skills gaps within your business – now, or in the future.
  2. Understand your training needs and create a skills development plan.
  3. Navigate the complex training landscape across Tees Valley, assess your options, and access specialist training or support.

Under Government guidelines, furloughed employees are eligible to still undertake training schemes. This means that through the Skills for Growth brokerage service, training can still be provided to employees who are continuing to work throughout the coronavirus pandemic, giving them a valuable opportunity to learn and develop new skills while not at work.

As a joint initiative with Teesside University, the Skills for Growth Programme will also take a proactive research approach to help shape and inform future training and development provision for SME’s across Tees Valley.


Who can access the support?

The Skills for Growth Programme will be open to applications from SMEs (a small or medium-sized enterprise with fewer than 250 employees) based in the Tees Valley (Darlington, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland and Stockton-on-Tees).

The support is free to access and applications are encouraged from employers across a wide range of sectors, including:

  • Advanced Manufacturing
  • Chemical and Process
  • Logistics
  • Life Sciences
  • Digital
  • Energy and Renewables
  • Business and Professional Services
  • Health and Social Care
  • Culture and Leisure
  • Construction



If you are an SME employer interested in upskilling your team we are now taking expressions of interest for the Skills for Growth Programme, which is free to access.

If you would like to join our database to receive further information please complete the form and data and marketing consent sections below. 

    Please Note: If you are not trading in Tees Valley you are ineligible to complete this form

    Please Note: Must be an SME (between 1-249 employees), or community or social enterprise otherwise you are ineligible to complete this form

    I want to hear from Tees Valley Business about business support available through the Skills for Growth Programme.

    Marketing and Processing Consent

    Why are we collecting this information?

    You have given Tees Valley Business your contact details (name, address, email address, telephone number and business information) because you are interested in hearing about the Skills for Growth programme. Tees Valley Business will use your contact details to keep in touch about these opportunities.  We will not be using your personal data for any other marketing purposes or to send you general information about Tees Valley Business, Tees Valley Combined Authority or the Tees Valley Mayor.

    How we will use your Data?

    We will check the data you entered appears accurate and we will then contact you with relevant information about opportunities through the Skills for Growth Programme.  We may pass your contact details and preferences to the wider partners that make up the Skills for Growth Programme.  This information will only be shared for the purpose of letting you know about opportunities or in providing training and/or skills support through the Skills for Growth programme. The partners are:

    These partners have the systems in place to properly protect the data we send them. You can find their individual privacy policies at the links given above. But all data shared as a result of your registration will only be processed as set out in this notice.

    How long will we keep your personal data?

    We will keep the database for up to 12 months, at which time we may contact you to confirm whether or not you want us to continue to hold your contact details and send you information about future jobs.  This is set out in our Data Retention Policy.

    How can I be removed from this database?

    You can ask us to stop contacting you about the Skills for Growth Programme or to ask us to delete your contact details from our database at any time. Simply email us at and we will delete your data within one week.

    We also include an unsubscribe link at the bottom of our e-marketing emails – you can use that link to opt out of receiving further email marketing about the Skills for Growth programme

    Where can I find Further Information?

    Tees Valley Business takes data protection very seriously. Further information about how we collect, hold and delete data and information about your data rights and how to make a complaint can be found in our privacy notice at:


    About the funding

    The Skills for Growth programme is supported by 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 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.


    Can we help your business?

    Register your interest here