Posted on 16 August 2021

Seven West Yorkshire colleges, Go Higher West Yorkshire and the Textile Centre of Excellence have come together to give businesses a simple way to access funded training and advice.

As part of the West Yorkshire Consortium of Colleges’ Let’s Talk Real Skills project, the colleges and educators are offering SMEs in the Leeds City Region a free ‘Skills Plan’ service.

A Skills Plan can help businesses to establish their training needs and access funding or support that can help them achieve their ambitions. Skills Plan sessions are short, one-to-one meetings with an impartial skills associate or advisor from one of the training providers.

"We know that training can change the direction of a business and help it become scalable. Training helps our staff feel more involved in the business decisions and it symbolises our commitment to them and how we value their contribution."

Louise O’Brien, Managing Director at Greyhound Box Leeds

The new online enquiry service provides a simple gateway to book a session with one of the region’s leading training providers and allows businesses to access the training they need.

Many businesses have already benefited from a Skills Plan and have made crucial relationships with contacts who have helped make the most of their training budgets.

"Booking a Skills Plan is a great way to make that first point of contact so we can understand the skills needs and link the business to the right funding or opportunity. We find that the sessions often develop into long-term relationships and businesses will come back for support and advice over many years.”

Joanne Patrickson, Projects Director at the West Yorkshire Consortium of Colleges

Businesses in the Leeds City Region can request a free Skills Plan here:

Let’s Talk Real Skills is managed by the West Yorkshire Consortium of Colleges and funded by the European Social Fund. To be eligible, businesses must be an SME (under 250 employees) based in one of the following districts: Bradford, Calderdale, Craven, Harrogate, Kirklees, Leeds, Selby, Wakefield or York.

For enquiries, please contact Lucy Davies, Marketing and Communications Manager, WYCC at:, or 07773 338387