Business Support


Skills and Training

Two individuals conducting training at a local business

Skills and training for Chesterfield businesses

Are you looking to develop your workforce? Whether you’re hiring new talent or upskilling existing employees, Chesterfield has a range of programmes to support you with skills and training.

Browse the developing talent in your business brochure for more information.

Short on time and want to jump to a specific section? Click on the links below:


Chesterfield Skills Brokerage Service

Did you know you can access free advice to help identify your skills gaps and workforce development needs? Meet Chris McKechnie, dedicated Skills Brokerage Business Advisor at Chesterfield Borough Council.

Chris McKechnie, Skills Brokerage Advisor at Chesterfield Borough Council

Chris will guide you to:

  • Identify your training and workforce development needs
  • Access funding
  • Gain apprenticeship support and funding
  • Develop talent

Want to know more? Contact Chris McKechnie to discuss your business needs on 07583416749 or email: Chris.McKechnie@chesterfield.gov.uk


Apprenticeships for all

If you’re looking to recruit new staff, re-train or upskill existing staff then the apprenticeship route might be for you. They provide the opportunity to develop your workforce with the skills you need and give your employees a route into a successful and fulfilling career.

Apprentice welder and mentor at a local manufacturing business in Chesterfield

How do they work?

Apprentices must be aged 16 or over and combine working with studying for a work-based qualification, whether that be GCSE or degree level equivalent. Learn more about hiring an apprentice.

Higher and Degree Apprenticeships

Higher apprenticeships go from level 4 to 7 and are equivalent to a foundation degree or above Degree apprenticeships are available at levels 6 and 7 and are equivalent to a full bachelor’s and Master’s. Find out about higher and degree apprenticeships.

Apprenticeship Funding

If you’re looking to take on an apprentice, you could benefit from funding towards apprenticeship training. Check out the different funding opportunities.

Interested to learn more? For 1-1 support in recruiting and funding an apprentice, contact Chris McKechnie, Skills Brokerage Business Advisor at Chesterfield Borough Council.


Sector-based Work Academy Programme (SWAP)

Looking to build your workforce? The Sector-based Work Academy Programme (SWAP) support people into employment and develop the specific skills an employer is looking for.

Programmes are delivered with the employer, lasting up to 3 weeks. It includes:

  • Pre-employment training
  • Work experience placements
  • Guaranteed job interviews

Contact the employer engagement team at Job Centre Plus for more information: Call 07900746901 or email paul.munday2@dwp.gov.uk.


Courses and workshops available to you

Businesses attending Innovation Support Workshop in Chesterfield

The Chesterfield Skills Accelerator Initiative allows you to access a dedicated business advisor but also training workshops designed to support development. These include digital skills, a subsidy for a 12-week executive leadership programme, support to apply for grant funding, networking sessions, vouchers for specialist consultancy programmes and energy-saving audits. Register your interest by filling out the Chesterfield Accelerator form.

You can also access workshops, seminars and networking events to support skills development through the Chesterfield Innovation Support Programme. Want to know more? Contact Adrian Williamson, Innovation Support Project Manager at Chesterfield Borough Council. Email Adrian: adrian.williamson@chesterfield.gov.uk.

Want to develop skills or talent in construction, digital, engineering and manufacturing, green skills, HGV driving or rail? Skills Bootcamps are free and flexible courses of up to 16 weeks. They provide the opportunity for an individual to build sector-specific skills and fast-track to an interview with a local employer. Get in touch with the D2N2 Skills Bootcamp Project Officers via skillsbootcamps@d2n2lep.org.


Harness skills and resources from nearby training providers

Chesterfield is home to the largest further education college in Derbyshire. We also have five universities within a 45-minute drive, including a campus in the town centre. Boost your business by harnessing the skills and resources on offer locally.

Classroom of students at the University of Derby

Chesterfield College Group offer support and services for any businesses looking to bring in fresh talent. Perhaps you’re considering hiring an apprentice? The college will support you to advertise vacancies, sifting through applications and assist with the interview process. Call 0345 850 1055 or email info@learningunlimiteduk.com to learn more about hiring an apprentice. If you have a general business enquiry or want to understand how you can work together, contact the Business Development Team: James Lund, Interim Director of Sales on email lundj@chesterfield.ac.uk  or call 07875 193462. Alternatively, contact Rachael Wood, Business Development Consultant, by emailing woodr1@chesterfield.ac.uk or call 07966 524196.

From working with talented students and graduates to fully funded support for business support and training, The University of Derby can work with you to grow your business. Contact the dedicated Business Engagement Team on 0800 001 5500 to see how they can work with you.

The Sheffield Innovation Programme is a regional initiative which aims to stimulate growth and promote the development of long-term relationships with SMEs, by providing access to a broad range of academic expertise and university facilities. The support is in the form of bespoke research and innovation-based consultancy, workshops, and other events.


Derbyshire JobCentre Plus

Work with Derbyshire JobCentre Plus for support and information about local labour availability, wage rates, employment subsidies or training.

A package of assistance can be tailor-made to meet your needs. This may include pre-employment courses to prepare people for specific entry criteria; Work Trials which allow job seekers and the business to test out a job for a couple of weeks before committing; and help for applicants with tools, clothes etc.

In addition, if you are registered unemployed and have been in receipt of either Job Seekers Allowance or Employment Support Allowance, then Job Centre Plus can advise you about New Enterprise Allowance which offers financial assistance to help you start a business.

Contact Derbyshire Jobcentre Plus on 07900746901 or email Paul Munday, Employer Advisor on paul.munday2@dwp.gov.uk.


Inclusive Recruitment

Want to attract fresh talent? Consider adopting an inclusive recruitment approach. By attracting candidates from diverse backgrounds, you not only broaden your talent pool but also invite a rich mix of skills, experiences, and perspectives into your team.

Two individuals having a meeting at the Northern Gateway Enterprise Centre in Chesterfield

The following organisations can offer support and guidance:

British Association of Supported Employment (BASE) is the national voice for providers of specialist employment support. They promote the principles and delivery of high-quality Supported Employment services and work to improve the employment rates of disabled people.

Department for Work and Pensions can provide information about employing disabled people and how the Disability Confident employer scheme can help your business.

Want more information and support? Contact DEBP at enquiries@debp.org with the subject ‘Inclusive Recruitment Support’.


Hiring an Apprentice

Hiring an apprentice can bring a wealth of benefits to an organisation from improved productivity to improvements to the quality of their product or services.

Read more >
Joiner working on a housing development in Chesterfield

Local Employment and Supply Chain Opportunities

It is important that Chesterfield supports business to take advantage of the local employment and supply chain opportunities through regeneration and business growth.

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Funding and Grants

Funding and Grants

There is a range of funding and grants available for businesses in Chesterfield and North Derbyshire. Find out more!

Read more >

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