High Level Skills for SMEs

As an SME, are you experiencing skills shortages or skills gaps in your organisation?

The High Level Skills programme offers dedicated support, advice and funding to help you up-skill your employees and access the wealth of graduate talent in the area.

It is the only ESF-funded programme in D2N2 (Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire) dedicated to addressing high level skills needs in small or medium-sized businesses.

NTU work as part of the High Level Skills consortium to deliver this programme which also includes Derby College, Nottingham College, the University of Derby and Nottingham City Council.

This programme aims to help you grow as a business by creating a more diverse, creative and productive workforce through our two complementary projects, which are:

To find out more and for details on the offer from NTU and our partners, download our programme brochure.

Priority Skills for D2N2 SMEs

The Priority Skills for D2N2 SMEs project supports SMEs in accessing free bespoke, employer-led training, career coaching and advice to up-skill their employees in vocational and high-level technical skills. NTU offer a free, 3-day course which is designed to help women in SMEs to develop their careers and their capability to manage and lead within their organisations.

Find out more about Priority Skills for D2N2 SMEs.

GRADS for D2N2

The GRADS for D2N2 project provides small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with a complete package of free and subsidised support to help you benefit from graduate talent in the region.

Whether you're an SME looking to recruit local graduates, or you're keen to see how graduate and high-level skills could support your business in different ways, this project can help you access the support, advice and funding to plug skills gaps, achieve more, and grow your business.

Find out more about GRADS for D2N2.

Case studies and news articles

Market Intelligence: Talent in Professional Services

19 September 2019

A look at the graduate labour market and the implications for professional services businesses around recruitment and future growth.


NTU programme delivers Mansfield-based Women in Leadership course following success in the city

18 September 2019

Following the success of two courses at NTU's City Campus, Nottingham Business School has launched the same course for businesses based in north Nottinghamshire.


How The Treat Kitchen benefited from the GRADS for D2N2 project

5 September 2019

We caught up with local business, The Treat Kitchen, to talk about the benefits they have experienced since taking on a graduate placement.


Market Intelligence: Talent in Creative

13 August 2019

This workshop explores the graduate labour market in the UK and locally and the implications for creative businesses around recruitment and future growth.


Market Intelligence: Talent in Advertising, Marketing and PR

5 July 2019

The second session in our 'Market Intelligence: Talent in ...?' series looks at the opportunities and challenges of the local and national labour market, with a specific focus on AMPR.

Read more


Engaging with stakeholders across D2N2 on High Level Skills

28 June 2019

The High Level Skills programme has an open invitation for organisations working with SMEs to get in touch and discuss how we can work together.

Read more


View all stories about the ESF High Level Skills programme

Who is eligible?

Most small and medium organisations in Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire are eligible for support.

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are defined as:

  • Less than 250 employees
  • Annual turnover under EUR 50 million or;
  • Annual balance sheet less than EUR 43 million

Companies must be based in the D2N2 area to qualify for support. D2N2 is the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) for Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire.

Contact us

Support is available to businesses until 2020.

If you are interested in accessing these services or would like to know more, contact our team at esf@ntu.ac.uk or by calling +44 (0)115 848 8899.

For more information, download the programme brochure.

Still need help?

High Level Skills Central Team
+44 (0)115 848 8899