Case Studies

Skills Support for the Workforce (SSW)

20 Nov 2019

Using a £4m skills training fund, the Skills Support for the Workforce programme is helping SMEs to upskill their workforce by providing accredited qualifications and bespoke training.

A Tamworth-based security company is preparing for business growth by upskilling their workforce through the SSW programme.

James Brown, owner of Gold Standard Security (GSS) aspired to upskill his staff to expand the business and prepare for the upcoming Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, which would result in a busy period for the company.

Security is a sector that is heavily legislated, so regular training in courses such as health & safety and first aid is crucial to GSS’ legal commitments, leaving little budget for further workforce developmental training.

Pilot Training is part of SSW’s network of expert organisations chosen to deliver the funded skills training programme which is co-financed by the European Social Fund and Education and Skills Funding Agency.

Pilot proactively approached GSS after the company was found to be eligible for the SSW programme and worked with the business so that they could benefit from free training and staff development sessions.

Upskilling the local workforce aligns with the Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership’s (GBSLEP) Growth Programme, which aims to generate inclusive economic growth across the LEP region.

Programme Success

Pilot Training created a bespoke training package for GSS to support the company’s development and growth. GSS enrolled employee, Maria Doyle, on a ‘train the trainer’ style teaching qualification that has allowed Maria to progress into a staff trainer role, enabling the company to:
  • Develop workshops and remote support for the wider team
  • Develop training and assessments independently
  • Keep training in-house through the use of a qualified tutor

Pilot Training will continue to support GGS’ employees throughout 2019. However, the company has already seen results with up to 36 staff members obtaining a number of different qualifications.

James Brown, owner of GSS, said:

"We align ourselves daily to our mission statement ‘securing excellence’ and feel the skills training has added value to our operation. Developing our staff offers us a competitive edge and gains confidence from our clients, who know our teams are highly skilled. We are committed to continuous improvement while applying the very best of our services every day. Skills Support for the Workforce has allowed us to develop our teams with bite size chunks of training and a flexible approach that has fitted around our business needs.”
Laura Johnson, Partnership Coordinator for Skills Support for the Workforce in the GBS area, said:

"We understand the importance of upskilling the workforce in order to boost the local economy. Participants from the programmes typically benefit from increased employee confidence, motivation and productivity levels, whilst boosting employee retention rates and the business’ competitive edge. I would encourage businesses across the area to take advantage of this funding whilst it remains available.”


European Social Fund

The project will receive up to £4,000,000 funding from the European Social Fund as part of the 2014-2020 European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme in England. The Department for Work and Pensions (and in London the intermediate body Greater London Authority) is the Managing Authority for the England European Social Fund programme. Established by the European Union, the European Social Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support skills development, employment and job creation, social inclusion and local community regenerations.  For more information visit

To find out more about the European Social Fund in the Greater Birmingham and Solihull area, please visit