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Let’s Talk Real Skills

Enhancing the regional skills offer

Let’s Talk Real Skills aims to strengthen the regional skills offer by building greater connectivity between SME employers, further and higher education; providing bespoke skills planning support; offering subsidised training opportunities; and collaborating to shape new training that responds to workforce needs.

We can help employers to:

  • access training – including subsidised training offers
  • navigate skills training options
  • gain a bespoke skills plan
  • learn more about how universities and colleges work with businesses

Skills planning support is offered as part of the Let’s Talk Real Skills project which is managed by the West Yorkshire Consortium of Colleges and funded by the European Social Fund.


Lets Talk Real Skills Logo


GHWY is a delivery partner for the Let's Talk Real Skills programme, appointed by the West Yorkshire Consortium of Colleges.  GHWY is a consortium of 13 West Yorkshire higher education providers and our members collaborate to meet needs.  Through Let's Talk Real Skills we work with our members to promote greater connectivity between employers and higher education.  This includes providing skills planning support and shaping new provision to meet SME skills gaps and emerging needs across the eligible sectors.  Please visit the GHWY website for further details

To be eligible, businesses must be an SME (under 250 employees and have an annual turnover not exceeding £50 million). This includes microbusinesses, social enterprises and freelancers /self-employed, if tax registered. Proof of HMRC, companies house and/or charities commission registration is required to evidence eligibility.

Businesses must also be operating in one of the following sectors: health & social care, medtech, digital, creative, Film & TV, construction, low carbon, rail, manufacturing and engineering and be based in one of the following districts: Bradford, Calderdale, Craven, Harrogate, Kirklees, Leeds, Selby, Wakefield or York.

After you have completed the booking form you will be contacted within the next 3 working days to schedule a skills planning meeting at a time that suits you.  This is typically an online meeting or phone call, usually approximately one hour.  Information from this meeting will be used to produce a bespoke skills plan for your business.  This will provide information on training available within the region and subsidised training opportunities that match your workforce skill needs.  To complete the process and access the subsidised training opportunities, we just ask that you review the skills plan and data capture form and confirm your approval of these documents.  Within the programme this is used to evidence the support the programme has provided.  The skills training insight you share will be used to help providers to better understand the skills training needs of SMEs in our region.

The skills planning support is free, funded through the Let’s Talk Real Skills ESF programme.

Training providers will provide you with costs for the training. SMEs will be expected to cover these costs. For some regional training a subsidy is offered, you will be made aware of this within your Skills Plan and skills planning session. This is funded through the Let’s Talk Real Skills programme or other regional skills programmes and subject to completion of a data capture form and skills plan. We can help you connect with training providers.

The support provided will help you plan and access skills support to develop your workforce. Your Skills Plan will be unique and tailored to the needs of your business. You will learn more about what skills training is available across the West Yorkshire region, how you can access this and what subsidies are available. We can connect you with training providers with expertise across a range of different skill themes, both short courses and longer programmes (including apprenticeships) and everything in-between.  You will learn more about how further and higher education providers are working with employers - supporting training, recruitment, and innovation.

(fulltime equivalent)
Consent  (Required)




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