From education to employment



Distance learning expert Open Study College (@OpenStudyColl) is encouraging eligible Midlands businesses to apply for a grant of up to £18,000 for staff training to upskill and develop their workforce.

As a selected supplier, Open Study College is working in partnership with Birmingham City Council on its Supplier Skills Programme, which offers funding from £500 to a maximum of £18,000 per SME, of which 50% will be funded by the SME and 50% by the European Social Fund grant. The scheme covers a wide range of courses from basic to level 7, including project management, HR, finance, leadership and management as well as childcare, A Levels and GCSEs. 

Head of Education and Development, Robbie Bryant, commented:

“We’re really proud to have been selected as one of the providers who have access to the funding to support local SMEs to upskill their staff, which can only have a positive impact on economic growth within the region.

“We know every business wants to invest in staff training, but the cost is often a barrier, particularly during the current pandemic when purse strings are naturally even tighter. 

“We will provide full assistance with the application process and as a long-established distance learning college, we are able to provide learners with the skills and qualifications they need without the impact on their working day of requiring to attend a physical college. The flexibility that our courses offer allows learners to complete their studies at their own pace and in line with Covid guidelines.”

Eligible applicants include Small to Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) that:

  • Have been actively trading for at least 6 months or more

  • Are based within, or locating to, the more developed areas of The Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP), namely Birmingham, Redditch, Bromsgrove, Solihull and the Wyre Forest

  • Can match fund the training costs (50% of training costs will be match funded by the employer*) 

  • Whilst SSP is open to all business sectors, we particularly welcome applications from sectors where there is significant job replacement demand

The £12m Supplier Skills Programme is part-funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) and managed by Birmingham City Council, and offers SMEs the opportunity to access grant funding to develop and upskill their workforce.

To register your interest and to find out more visit

*Match funding cannot be sources from public funds.

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