Skills Bank Boost Opens New Doors

Skills Bank Boost Opens New Doors

Distinction Doors in Tankersley, Barnsley, have benefited from help with training from the South Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership’s Skills Bank to support the training of twenty staff.

Helen Lovack, HR Director at Distinction Doors, tells her story so far:

“I met a Skills Bank Skills Adviser at a local HR networking event. She told me that phase two of Skills Bank was active, encouraged me to apply and helped me with my application.

“We successfully secured funding to train 20 members of staff in leadership and management, customer service and train the trainer. We had just signed up for the leadership training at the beginning of lockdown, but we facilitated virtual one-to-one training during this time.

“Now that the restrictions have been eased, we’re looking forward to working together as a team. We’re also planning training for more employees at different levels of our organisation.”

Distinction Doors is a large company in the South Yorkshire, distributing doors across the UK. They are keen to invest in their staff and found the regional support through Skills Bank to help them do this.

For companies that need more support to understand the issues and identify needs, the Growth Hub and Skills Bank Skills Advisors are a dedicated and free service to help all companies identify how they can access the help, support and funding that’s available. Businesses can access growth specialists, finance advisors, innovation advisors and skills advisors, all via the Growth Hub. Expert skills advisors can help businesses to submit their applications and advise what other business support is available.

Mike Long, Trainer at Mike Long Associates, one of numerous Skills Bank approved training providers, has been working with Skills Bank since 2018. Mike encouraged more businesses to get involved while Skills Bank is still running:

“Employers need all the help they can get at the moment, and Skills Bank is a dynamic offer that is there to support and encourage them. This is a great opportunity for organisations to stand back and look at how they can fire up their development and growth by making the most of the support that’s available.”

“Employers should be looking very hard at what their development needs are, link these with their business development needs and use this information to develop a learning and development plan. They can then create training that’s tailored for their business to make sure it supports their individual needs.”

Mike also revealed some insights into virtual training:

“When we knew lockdown was imminent, we pulled out all the stops to get all the learners together for a top speed induction. We gave them workbooks and hard copy handouts so that when we went into lockdown, learners had a tangible portfolio of training materials.

“We were nervous about virtual delivery but we found solutions and kept the learners engaged. I met many pets and children, and even got offered a virtual cup of tea! I’m glad we’re back face to face now, but if we need to deliver virtually again, we’re fully prepared.”

Every business in South Yorkshire can access high-quality advice, training and funding to help them develop and grow.  This includes online training programmes for businesses during the crisis and a rapid response service for businesses helping with the government’s Coronavirus strategy, such as producing protective personal equipment (PPE) or sanitisers.

Discover the range of services that are available to help your business and get in touch with our advisors by visiting

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To find out more about Skills Bank plus other schemes and funding options to support regional skills development, please contact one of our Skills Advisors. 

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