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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.

This support is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund

The Priority Skills for D2N2 SMEs project is part-funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) and 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.

Practical Marketing Skills for SMEs artwork

Practical Marketing Skills

After a very challenging year, many businesses have changed how they deliver their products and services, so they will need to ramp up their efforts in 2021 to raise brand awareness and boost sales.

With customer behaviours constantly changing, marketing is now more critical than ever for business survival and growth.

This fully-funded Practical Marketing Skills course is perfect for business owners and any team members responsible for marketing, including staff that are currently on furlough.

It is a Level 3 Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) accredited course. So you will receive a one-year CIM membership and have the opportunity to take a timed, multiple-choice assessment, which will give you 12 credit points towards the Level 3 qualification.

The course is delivered over four sessions on consecutive weeks. The course allows business owners, managers and employees of SMEs based in the D2N2 area to increase their marketing knowledge and enhance their marketing skills. This will accelerate business recovery post-lockdown.

D Soloman from Sological Solutions Ltd says about the course: "I found the course content a good introduction to the key principals of marketing. The material was clear and well delivered and the polls were a useful interactive component. I have found myself applying the information that I was presented with to my business already and think that the additional knowledge that I am gaining will undoubtedly be hugely beneficial."

Course dates

The next courses start on the following dates and will be delivered in half-day sessions:

  • Wednesday 21 April and then four consecutive weeks on a Wednesday
  • Thursday 22 April and then four consecutive weeks on a Thursday

Places are limited to 16 delegates per course, so book early to secure a place by contacting

IMPORTANT: The enrolment deadline is 5 pm on Friday 16 April 2021.

SAIL generic artwork

Sustainability and Inclusive Leadership

The Sustainability and Inclusive Leadership (SAIL) course explores the global climate crisis, the very real impact that this will have on the economic landscape, and how important it is for businesses to be more sustainable as they work towards COVID-19 recovery.

Participants will consider personal values, ethical decision-making and health and wellbeing, before taking a more focused look at sustainability through the lens of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), climate action and carbon literacy.

The course also looks at the circular economy – an economic system emphasising minimal waste through re-use, sharing, repaid and recycling – and the ‘doughnut economy’ – a visual framework for sustainable development.

Ideal for your team's professional development, this course has been accredited by NTU, and participants will receive 10 credits towards a Level 4 (degree level) qualification. You will also develop an action plan for your business, and upon being successful in your assessment, you will receive a full certificate issued by the Carbon Literacy Trust.

Course dates

Dates of the next three-day course are:

  • Wednesday 21 April
  • Tuesday 27 April
  • Wednesday 28 April

Please contact us to book your place a

Effective Change Management

Effective Change Management

The extent, pace and scale of change that businesses need to manage, has grown significantly. Particularly for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), this can pose challenges around the resources, capacity or skills needed to manage change.

Our new Effective Change Management course is designed to help senior professionals, managers and leaders within SMEs that are currently going through change, to design, implement and lead change effectively. It is relevant for businesses of five or more employees.

This course is fully funded (no cost) for employees of eligible SMEs in the Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire (D2N2) region, and is accredited as a 20-credit module at postgraduate level, but you do not need to have any prior qualifications to attend.

Throughout the course, you will:

  • gain insight into researched, evidence-based and well-established approaches to change management whilst also providing opportunities to apply new knowledge to changes within your organisation.
  • explore organisational barriers to change
  • design your change
  • understand how to effectively implement change
  • understand the impact of leadership and personal effectiveness during change
  • identify more effective ways to engage people with change.

The course is delivered fully online, providing flexibility through self-study and the opportunity to collaborate and share good practice through ‘live’ facilitated sessions.

Evidence suggests that a high percentage of change efforts fail. The Effective Change Management programme is aimed at helping SMEs successfully manage this.

Course dates

The course will start on 13 April 2021 and run until 4 June 2021. It consists of six 1.5 hour online sessions that you will be required to attend, alongside the completion of additional on-line self-study and a report to support the design and implementation of change in your organisation.

Dates of the six online sessions are:

  • 13 April 2021
  • 20 April 2021
  • 27 April 2021
  • 11 May 2021
  • 18 May 2021
  • 25 May 2021

Please contact us to book your place at Please note that we have limited places left.

Please note upon receiving your enquiry you will be contacted by our team to perform an eligibility check.

Women in Leadership

PLEASE NOTE: All Women in Leadership course start dates have now passed. We will update this page if any more courses are to be held.

Our Women in Leadership course is delivered over three days and is designed to help women in SMEs to develop their careers and their capability to manage and lead.

We’ve taken the well-respected management and leadership element of our Executive MBA programme, integrated our vast experience on leadership in SMEs and incorporated latest thinking around Women in Leadership, creating a unique course tailored for you.

Please contact for any queries.

Who will benefit?

The project will specifically support employees who may face additional barriers to high-level skills, including:

  • women
  • employees aged 50+
  • employees with disabilities
  • Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) staff
  • those who have previously missed out on traditional educational opportunities.

This project is all about enhancing equal access to lifelong learning, including practical routes to earning learning credits towards further qualifications. Many of those completing the course could receive credits towards further qualifications, such as a postgraduate diploma or certificate.

Most SMEs in Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire are eligible for support.

Contact us

Support is available to employees of eligible SMEs throughout 2020.

Effective Change Management

Sustainability and Inclusive Leadership

Practical Marketing Skills

Women in Leadership

What are the rest of the consortium offering?

Nottingham Trent University is part of a consortium working together to deliver this ground-breaking programme, which is part-funded by the European Social Fund (ESF). The consortium includes Nottingham Trent University, Derby College, Nottingham College, the University of Derby, and Nottingham City Council.

  • Derby College
    Bespoke creation of courses depending on individual needs delivered through e-learning and face-to-face delivery, and bi-monthly employer academies to influence the curriculum.
  • Nottingham College
    Bespoke courses tailored to your business need, including technical and job-specific vocational skills, employability provision, and development in English, Maths and ICT.
  • University of Derby
    A suite of new, high-quality blended learning courses covering business, marketing, manufacturing, engineering and technology.

Still need help?

+44 (0)115 941 8418