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High Level Skills for SMEs

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

Attendees at the project launch event

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.

Women in Leadership course attendees – January 2020

Women in Leadership course 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 our Women in Leadership course.

Santa Brice, Creative Lead at The Treat Kitchen

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

Women in Leadership: Tracy Duggan from skillslocal

2 March 2020

Tracy Duggan, founder and director of skillslocal shares her experience of NTU's Women in Leadership course.

Cherry Professional – how NTU are placing grads with local businesses

14 February 2020

A look at how NTU have supported local business Cherry Consulting to recruit a graduate.

Victoria's verdict on our Women in Leadership course

13 January 2020

A look at how NTU are supporting local SMEs with advice and support on recruiting higher and degree apprentices.

Mansfield-based bespoke joinery business seeing success with NTU apprentice

16 December 2019

A look at how NTU are supporting local SMEs with advice and support on recruiting higher and degree apprentices.

Kirsty's experience on NTU's Women in Leadership course

6 December 2019

Kirsty Fisher gives her verdict on the latest Women in Leadership course delivered by Nottingham Business School.

Market Intelligence: Talent in Architecture

26 November 2019

A look at the graduate labour market and the implications for architecture practices around recruitment and future growth.

View all stories about the 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 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