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FSB helps bridge the skills gap in Devon

One of the core Devon area policy issues is skills and the skills agenda, so it was a real privilege to be asked by Plymouth University last year to work with them on a European Social Fund (ESF) Project. The core aim of the project is to support up to 100 small businesses and essentially try to give them the tools to ensure they either survive or grow in the next ten years. 

Our part in the project was to run a series of Night Schools for FSB members at Petroc College in Tiverton (Mid Devon).  In all over the past eight weeks we have run 7 different Night Schools at Petroc, looking at a range of different subjects from marketing, social media, data use and even how to support your staff. All these events have been free, and over the weeks we have signed in 86 members although many of those attending have been repeat attendees (they came along to one and afterwards signed up to a couple more). Over the weeks we have supported and hopefully upskilled at least 30 different members, as well as giving them the opportunity to meet other small businesses and create networks and new contacts.

The members have been delighted with these events: Carolyn Branton of 10 Minute Home Workout says: “Well worth the effort, extremely informative and useful.  Hope to benefit greatly”.

Plymouth University has also been very pleased with the work, so much so, they want to run another series of these Night Schools at Plymouth Science park starting at the end of April. They are also running night schools with FSB in Somerset as a direct spin-off. But for Devon the real achievement is actually seeing one of the Policy wants being worked on.. and that really is something special