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Derby Enterprise Growth Fund supports wider skills development

SB Peter SchofieldA Derby-based business says the grant support it has received from Derby Enterprise Growth Fund will help local employers address their own skills shortages and benefit the regional economy.

Schofield Britten, headed by business performance specialist Peter Schofield, has received a £95,000 grant from the £20 million Derby Enterprise Growth Fund (DEGF).

Supported by the Government’s Regional Growth Fund and run by Derby City Council, DEGF aims to support growth and job creation in businesses in the city and surrounding area through a mix of loans and grants.

Support from DEGF has enabled Schofield Britten and its recruitment arm Ford & Stanley to expand its operations in Royal Scot Road, Pride Park, with plans to create at least 11 new jobs.

Mr Schofield has worked in business consultancy for more than 30 years and set up the business in 2008. Schofield Britten now works with businesses as far afield as Australia and several major Derby-based rail, engineering and manufacturing companies.

Mr Schofield explained: “Engineering companies are particularly struggling to recruit the skilled staff they need. By thoroughly understanding the culture and objectives of the business, we help companies recruit and retain the workforce.

“People are a company’s only asset and everything else is a by-product. By investing in the workforce, businesses reduce recruitment costs, increase productivity and therefore increase their competitive edge.

 

“The DEGF support has enabled us to accelerate our growth and work with more businesses. It therefore has positive knock on effects to the wider economy – especially Derby’s planes, trains and automobile businesses which are the lifeblood of the city and surrounding area.”

Mr Schofield also praised Natwest bank in Derby for its support for the company and said it showed banks were lending to businesses.

He continued: “This involved a return to the traditional relationship between a business and its bank manager, where the bank manager understands the needs of the business and the benefits that business has on the local economy, and supports it.

“Two things fuel growth – talent and finance. The deal with the bank and the Derby Enterprise Growth Fund demonstrates both: finance to underpin growth by our ability to invest in talent, plus a deeper understanding of how we as a company can help employers attract and retain talent in a cost effective manner, thereby giving a further boost to the local economy.

Derby City Council Leader Cllr Paul Bayliss chairs the DEGF panel of industrial and financial experts who consider business applications. He said: “Businesses of all sizes constantly tell us that skills shortages are the biggest potential threat to their future growth and prosperity. “The support through DEGF for Schofield Britten therefore not only supports this company to grow and create good jobs but will also have benefits to the wider economy through the specialist services that they provide.”

 

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