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£12M SKILLS FUND TO HELP SMEs


Make UK is urging SMEs in the West Midlands and Worcestershire to make use of a £12m skills fund, to help them upskill staff and get on the road to recovery from COVID-19. The Supplier Skills Programme, which is part-


funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) and managed by Birmingham City Council, offers businesses the opportunity to access grant funding to develop their workforce in a range of different skills. Grants are available from £500 to £18,000. Make UK is a strategic partner of the


programme, and can assist with the application process for a range of its accredited courses, both virtual and face to face. Subjects include: technical skills training, including robotics, welding and HNC/HND; leadership and management, including ILM and CMI; and health, safety and environment courses, including IOSH, NEBOSH and IOA. The Supplier Skills Programme is open to SMEs which are: based within


Birmingham, Solihull, Redditch, Wyre Forest and Bromsgrove; and are able to match fund training costs (50 per cent by the SME, the remaining 50 per cent by the ESF). All training must be accredited by the Ofqual Framework or recognised by industry and professional accrediting bodies. The programme aims to upskill over 7,000 employees and will


run until March 2023. Stephen Mitchell, director of Apprentices and Technical Training at


Make UK’s Technology Hub in Aston, Birmingham, commented: “Upskilling workforces has never been more important for business continuity and resilience; the Supplier Skills Programme is a great way to part-fund a range of courses which will help give businesses the vital edge as they negotiate their way to recovery from the effects of this pandemic.” www.makeuk.org


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BUREAU VERITAS LAUNCHES SOLUTION FOR COVID-SECURE CONFIDENCE


Bureau Veritas has launched a new verification service to help organisations achieve best practices across safety, hygiene and compliance in the ever- changing COVID-19 landscape. Verify 360 has been developed


in partnership with Shepper, a specialist in data collection, to provide cost- effective assurance of COVID-secure measures based on a physical assessment and detailed performance reports. The assessment includes a series of regular checks, covering best


practice in social distancing, signage, one-way systems, face coverings, cleaning regimes, training regimes and more. It has been designed by experts from Bureau Veritas and is completed by


Shepper’s nationwide network of data collectors, ensuring a cost-effective approach across multiple sites, irrespective of location. Bureau Veritas’ Vicky Shah, said: “Leveraging Shepper’s digital platform


and network of data collection agents, Verify 360 undertakes a cost- effective assessment of COVID-secure measures to provide complete peace of mind that an organisation is maintaining best practices across safety, hygiene and compliance in the changing COVID landscape. “By taking a 360° view of site performance throughout a client’s


property portfolio, we can identify best practice sites and flag any areas for improvement, which helps to provide confidence and safeguard revenues. All with complete flexibility over how many sites are checked, how often, and on what scale.” Verify 360 follows the success of Bureau Veritas’s Restart Your Business


solution, part of a suite of services developed to help businesses navigate the challenges of COVID-19. www.bureauveritas.co.uk


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INDUSTRIAL COMPLIANCE | WINTER 2020


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