Herefordshire Skills for the Future


European Structural and Investment FundsHerefordshire Skills for the Future is a programme which is part-funded by the European Social Fund and match funded by NMITE. Its aim is to help bridge the gap between small businesses and the education sector and develop enterprise skills amongst young people.


NMITE Supporters

Herefordshire is a cold spot in the social mobility index, with wages and qualification levels below the national average. Our vibrant community of smaller businesses feel hampered by the lack of appropriate skills, and vacancies are hard to fill.

Automation, digitisation and Industry 4.0 means this will become more challenging.

Herefordshire Skills for the Future will address these challenges.

NMITE Supporters

Focus Areas

  1. Helping Herefordshire’s SMEs to understand the skills challenges and opportunities they face and offer flexible support to enable them to flourish.
  2. Linking SMEs and educators to embed skills awareness in course content and running extracurricular workshops to help individuals to gain skills relevant to the needs of the local labour market.
  3. Developing enterprise skills amongst young people to inspire a new generation of entrepreneurs who can start and grow businesses to meet local business needs.
Venn diagram showing groups and activities.

Project Activities

The project offers a full suite of fully funded training to support individuals, SMEs and education providers in building essential skills for the future.

Use the interactive tabs below to learn more about each activity.

1) Develop and promote an Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Skills Youth Network
  • Our Enterprise Development Associate will develop a programme of entrepreneurship and enterprise workshops to promote work-ready skills amongst young people (16 to 30 year olds).
  • This will raise awareness of entrepreneurship as an alternative career pathway and facilitates the transition from education to work.
2) Develop a Future Skills Group
  • Drawing membership from the local business community as well as education providers, the Future Skills Group will work to promote work-ready future skills in educational settings.

3) Provide Business Skills Gap Coaching
  • Our Employer Engagement Associate will undertake skills audits with SMEs to identify their skills gaps and create a bespoke action plan for growth.
  • This plan will signpost towards further training and support in order to help the business to innovate and remain competitive.
4) Facilitate an Employer Engagement Forum
  • These networking events will feature thought leadership talks and opportunities for discussion to enable local businesses to challenge the status quo and innovate.
  • Attendees will become part of a peer-to-peer network which will encourage the sharing of best practice and enable them to prepare for changes in their business.
5) Careers advice for school pupils and Enterprise Advisor Network
  • Promote aspirations and local career opportunities to school and college students in Herefordshire by further building and promoting the local context of careers provision.
  • Enhance and support the Careers and Enterprise Company programme in the county by engaging employers to work with schools and colleges.
  • Support activities may include Mock Interviews, Careers evenings/days, 'Speed dating' careers events in small groups, CV writing workshops and more.
6) Develop a Herefordshire Placement Programme
  • The Herefordshire Placement Programme (HPP) will create a culture of meaningful work experience in local businesses and education settings.
  • The HPP will support both young people and businesses by facilitating high quality placements for all parties. This help will include matching young people to relevant businesses and facilitating the checks necessary to run Work Experience Placements.
  • An Early Career Leadership Programme (ECLP) will also run as part of the HPP. Open to recent graduates and career shifters, the ECLP will help attract and retain graduates to the area by providing local SMEs with a comprehensive professional development suite.

Supported by the European Social Fund

Each year the ESF helps millions of Europeans improve their lives by learning new skills and finding better jobs.

The European Social Fund (ESF) Operational Programme 2014-2020 is managed by the Department for Work and Pensions. It sets out the national priorities and themes for investment in employment, skills and social inclusion.

Our project is about improving the labour market relevance of education and training systems (Priority Axis 2.2):

  1. To promote improvement in the labour market relevance of skills provision through active engagement with relevant institutions and employers, particularly SMEs and Microbusiness.
  2. Focussing on improving employer participation and engagement learning so that it is responsive to the needs of the local economy and more individuals progress into or within learning. Facilitating the transition from education to work, and strengthening training systems.
Students and partner

Ready to learn more and get involved?

For more information, get in touch with our team using the form on our contact page. Simply call 01432 371111 or email

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