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Edge Hill University’s Business School awarded funding boost to train SMEs

Edgehill course June 2020 for minorities

One of Lancashire’s largest leadership skills programmes, delivered by Edge Hill University, has been awarded additional funding to boost the management aspirations of employees in the region.

The University’s Business School has secured a funding extension to its popular Leading Lancashire programme until 2022, following the successful delivery of the programme to date. The project, part-funded by the European Social Fund, is delivered to employees of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the region to deliver of professional Chartered Management Institute (CMI) qualifications.

John Mercer, Associate Director of Edge Hill’s Business School and Director of the University’s Leading Lancashire programme, said:

“It’s very encouraging to see business leaders across the region recognise the value that investing in their employees can bring to their company and the benefits that these leadership skills will bring as they navigate their recovery after the Covid-19 pandemic.

“This latest extension means that we can continue to expand the Leading Lancashire programme and welcome even more companies from across the region as we help employees to expand their skill set in an ever-changing SME sector.”

The Business School has delivered online CMI training to more than 350 SMEs and 720 employees since January 2020, helping businesses to build stronger and more coherent teams as they recover from the impact of Covid-19. One SME to benefit from the Leading Lancashire programme is Chorley-based recruitment agency Kensington Consulting.

The pandemic’s impact on the recruitment sector meant that many members of the team were placed on the Government’s furlough scheme. During this time, Kensington Consulting’s Managing Director, Phil Hodson, made the decision to sign his team up to the Leading Lancashire programme.

Phil said: “We are a company with ambitious plans, and understand that developing our team is important in order for us to meet our business objectives.

“We’re thrilled with the Leading Lancashire programme and, as a result, have implemented new tools and processes that aid our employees’ training and development, while simultaneously upskilling the management team.” 

We are also particularly keen to encourage participant learners from demographic groups often under-represented in management roles, including women, people with disabilities, and people from minority ethnic communities. 

Leading Lancashire is part of a consortium of Lancashire education providers offering fully-funded support to employees of Lancashire based SMEs to help develop their skills through training, coaching and support. The extension has been agreed by the consortium to offer a further 90 places at the Business School, up to the end of 2022.


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