Local businesses encouraged to register for pilot project to boost customer service skills

12th August 2014

A new project in North Devon and Torridge has been launched aimed at developing customer service skills for businesses throughout the area.

The project – entitled ‘Skills for Seasonal Workers’ – is run by North Devon+ and the Employment & Skills Board in conjunction with Education + Training Skills. It offers 20 free in-work training opportunities for local businesses to develop customer service.

The bite sized training is delivered in the work place over a twelve week period and is worth up to £1,250. It's available to sole traders or their employees aged 19+ in the North Devon & Torridge area.

The pilot project has been developed in response to last years’ Northern Devon Employer Skills Survey, where local employers identified customer service skills as a priority, stating that this particular skills gap had lost them business or orders to competitors.

Sarah Grigg, Employment and Skills Manager at North Devon+ said: “Thanks to businesses telling us what they wanted through the Skills Survey, we know where the skills gaps are. We are now using this information to help plan and inform training provision to better meet the needs of local employers.

“This project will help local businesses to boost their customer service skills, by giving them access to some free training – and ultimately helping them to gain a competitive edge and boost their profits. We’ve planned the project so the training can take place during the low season, allowing tourism businesses to participate.

“It will also benefit seasonal workers throughout the area, who will gain recognised training and qualifications."

There will be two programmes with ten places available on each. Several businesses have already expressed an interest. Applications are encouraged from businesses with fewer than ten employees, and female participants and those aged fifty and above are particularly welcome to get involved.

Employers taking part will undertake a personalised ‘training needs analysis’ where they can select customer service modules that will most benefit their business. Meanwhile, participants on the course will develop and practice their skills whilst at work, gaining accredited training. The programme ends with a Certification Ceremony.

This programme is part funded by the European Union through the European Social Fund. It is part of the Local Response Fund - a total of £377,000 of European Social Fund money – which was awarded to the area last year for skills-based projects.

For further information and to register your interest please visit www.ndemploymentandskills.co.uk

ENDS

Notes to editors

About North Devon +

North Devon+ is the economic delivery agency for North Devon and Torridge. We provide a primary focus for regeneration, tourism and business development. As the economic delivery agency for the area, we work with Torridge District Council, North Devon Council, Devon County Council and the private sector to deliver projects and initiatives that encourage and support business growth, improve quality of life, and address social and economic inequalities. North Devon+ is a member of the National Enterprise Network. Visit www.northdevonplus.co.uk for further information.

This programme is part funded by the European Union through the European Social Fund.

Notes to Editors

For more information regarding this press release contact: Emma Parker Reynolds at Coast on 07944 360631 or the Coast main office on 01579 352600.

About North Devon+
North Devon+ is the chief economic delivery agency for North Devon and Torridge.  We aim to deliver positive change, creating a more productive economy and more prosperous communities.  Our role is to ensure our area thrives as a place in which to live, learn, work and visit.  Our primary focus is on regeneration, tourism and business development.  We work with Torridge District Council, North Devon Council, Devon County Council and the private sector to deliver projects and initiatives that encourage and support business growth, improve quality of life, and address social and economic inequalities.  North Devon is a member of the National Enterprise Network.  To find out more visit www.northdevonplus.co.uk

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About Us

North Devon+ provides a primary focus for regeneration, business support and tourism across Northern Devon. As the economic delivery agency for the area, we work with Torridge District Council, North Devon Council, Devon County Council and the private sector to deliver projects and initiatives that encourage and support business growth, improve quality of life, and address social and economic inequalities.

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