Last May, Warwickshire County Council appointed Fay Winterburn as Business Skills Advisor in response to a growing need from businesses for clear advice and support to help them address skills shortages.
A year on and Fay has supported over 250 businesses with skills gaps and assisted in the creation of over 130 apprenticeships.
Fay’s role takes her all across the county, leading in skills conversations and supporting the development of skills and recruitment plans to help businesses achieve their goals.
The initial Business Skills review Fay conducts is completely led by the business and their needs. Warwickshire is very fortunate to have a number of different skills routes and business support programmes available. Fay works alongside businesses to identify which of the support could benefit them whilst tailoring a supportive strategy to suit.
Working with a number of Education and training providers with additional services from partners such as the Coventry and Warwickshire Growth Hub and Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce the support Fay brings to a business is broad and effective.
Apprenticeships remain a hot topic and a route for many businesses to recruit to so identifying which Education and Training provider to work with or where to look for suitable applicants can sometimes need a little guidance. We have a great network of education and training providers with many different areas of specialism. Warwickshire also boasts of high apprenticeship success and progression rates, this tells us that our students enjoy their learning journeys and integrate well into the businesses and importantly become a permanent employee on completion of their apprenticeship.
In addition to apprenticeship support the requirement for Short term skills support via Placements and Internships is increasing. A skills shortage may not always show a long term requirement and employment opportunity, in many company visits Fay has seen a particular need for a short term interjection of a particular skill for example, Web design, Media, Marketing and photography are some of the top sought after skills. These are all business services that would usually perhaps be purchased, but by utilising local talent via our network of education and training providers the business is fulfilling their short term need and offering the individuals work experience which of course enhances their employability skills.