A Swansea University led project that provides SME leadership development programmes for businesses in Welsh Convergence Region has reported that it has helped Welsh businesses to create more than 1,600 jobs in its first three years.
In its annual report, the LEAD Wales programme, funded by the European Social Fund, the Welsh Government and Swansea and Bangor Universities, details how its’ development training has been making a difference to small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) which make up over 99% of all private sector firms in Wales. The project provides owner-managers and directors of companies with a ten-month development programme to enhance their growth capacity helping to contribute to the creation of new jobs across the Convergence Region.
LEAD Wales is three years into a five year programme and results show that the programme is exceeding expectations and has already created 1633 new jobs for Wales.
Ceri Jones, Acting Director of the Department of Research and Innovation said: “Assuming this trend continues for the remainder of the programme to June 2015 there is potential for between 2,500-3,500 new jobs to be created by LEAD Wales participants. It is likely to have further impact in Wales at a time when many firms are struggling, when the public sector is shrinking and when ways of increasing job opportunities across the nation are needed. This is a significant potential outcome and the LEAD Wales team will continue to provide a high value programme to the participating delegates.”
Amongst the report’s key findings were:-
During the 10 months of the programme, delegates reported a net increase of £20.5 million in their turnover. This represents an average increase of £77,000 amongst the 266 delegates who reported.97% of delegates report that the programme has had a personal significant impact on them and changed the way in which they work.
Mr Jones said: “Looking to the future, the LEAD Wales team are now looking at ways to engage with more businesses and work more effectively with owner-managers, directors and their key staff in firms of different sizes and capacities, and at different stages in their development.” A copy of the report can be seen here http://www.leadwales.co.uk/en/media-centre.htm.