A £3.9m EU backed initiative to help business owners and managers gain new leadership and management skills has been announced today (Friday, December 11) by Finance and Government Business Minister Jane Hutt (pictured below).
Led by Swansea University in partnership with Bangor University, the ION Leadership project is backed with £2.7m from the European Social Fund to raise skills and drive forward productivity and turnover in small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), as well as in larger organisations.
The programme aims to enhance career development and improve the performance of hundreds of businesses in North, West Wales and the South Wales Valleys – leading to increases in profitability and growth.
The three-year initiative will support over 590 entrepreneurs and aspiring leaders to develop high level skills through a targeted leadership programme to raise productivity in their workplaces and develop sustainable, profitable enterprises.
Finance Minister Jane Hutt said: “Equipping leaders and business owners with high quality skills will increase capacity and raise performance within private enterprises so they can become more competitive and win new contracts leading to commercial success.”
The ION leadership project is based on a practical learning programme within a trusted group of peers. The people taking part will be able to experiment with different leadership styles and learn how best to implement high performance working practices into their own business.
The project builds on the success of the LEAD Wales project, led by Swansea University and Bangor University, which supported over 900 people to gain skills and qualifications between 2009 and 2015.
Swansea University’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Richard B Davies said: “The ION Leadership project will take Swansea University and Bangor University’s engagement with SMEs to a whole new level. The University will be supporting SME owners and managers using well-researched and proven methods for inspiring business growth.
“The project recognises that improving the Welsh economy depends critically upon SMEs having the leadership and management ambition to grow their businesses. We are enthusiastic about this opportunity to give the Welsh economy a significant and sustainable boost.”
Prof John G Hughes, Vice-Chancellor, Bangor University added: “Bangor University is very pleased to be working in collaboration with Swansea University on the new ION Leadership project which is a great opportunity for businesses in Wales to invest in their growth.
“The Welsh economy depends on the growth of SMEs and we as a University have seen the benefits that businesses have experienced from investing in their leadership and management skills and are looking forward to meeting the challenge with them.”
For further information visit http://ionleadership.co.uk/ .
- Friday 11 December 2015 00.00 GMT
- Friday 11 December 2015 14.23 GMT
- Swansea University, Tel: 01792 295049