Workforce development planning

The Workforce for the Future programme provides tailored, in-depth support to help your businesses plan and adapt for the future by identifying your current and future skills needs.

Our team will help you to create an actionable workforce development plan to make sure your business is fit for the future.  By creating a workforce development plan, you’ll identify the skills you'll need to unlock opportunities and overcome potential barriers to growth and put in place strategies to ensure your workforce provides the talent needed for your business to thrive. This could mean upskilling or reskilling existing employees, developing training plans or recruiting new resource.

Our experienced skills advisers will provide your business with immediate help with skills and workforce challenges during and post COVID-19. You’ll receive support over three years to ensure your business has long term support.

What is a workforce development plan? 

The process of workforce planning will help your business ensure that you have the right people, with the right skills, attitudes and experience available within budget for your business.  

Workforce development planning will help you to assess your current workforce and map this against the workforce you need now, and in the future to achieve your business goals identifying and addressing gaps, shortages, surpluses, or skills mismatches. 

What are the benefits?

  • Understand your business’ current, new and emerging skills needs.
  • Develop a more motivated, skilled and qualified workforce.
  • Boost productivity - investment in up-skilling your workforce will increase productivity and demonstrate your commitment to investing in people.
  • Capture new talent – work placements, apprenticeships and paid internships offer a route to reach diverse talent which could be missed through more traditional recruitment routes.
  • Ensure that your vacancies are filled with local talent that possess the skills your business needs.

How can we help?

With the support of our experienced Skills Advisers, you will:

  • Develop and implement a workforce development plan and strategy.
  • Better understand your business' current, new and emerging skills needs.
  • Identify relevant skills support, programmes or training options.
  • Access a suite of online tools, resources and workshops to help support your skills strategy.


The cyclical ‘Workforce Development’ planning process

How much will it cost?

Workforce for the Future is a free service for SMEs based in the West of England.


Business West is delivering Workforce for the Future in collaboration with other partners and the West of England Combined Authority.

For more information on Workforce for the Future, please visit the West of England Growth Hub. The Growth Hub is the West of England Combined Authority’s dedicated business support service which offers free, one-to-one advice and guidance for SMEs.

The West of England Workforce for the Future programme has received £4m of funding from the European Social Fund as part of the 2014-2020 European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme in England. The Department for Work and Pensions (and in London the intermediate body Greater London Authority) is the Managing Authority for the England European Social Fund programme. Established by the European Union, the European Social Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support skills development, employment and job creation, social inclusion and local community regenerations. For more information visit:

  • Get in touch

    Be ahead of the competition and get set for success with a workforce development plan. Gain access to our experienced skills advisers to put a plan in place to make your business goals a reality. 

  • Our adviser at Business West, Barry Tugwood has provided a valuable external view potentially opening doors through a network of contacts.
    Chris Kille
    Bath Property Maintenance Limited
  • We’ve been really impressed with the engagement and responsiveness of the Workforce For The Future team at Business West, and look forward to working with them to support the team over the next three years.
    Kit Hawkins
    Ecus Ltd
  • Business West have been enthusiastic, informative and helpful. Thanks for your help so far.
    Themis Mikellides
    Bath Aqua Glass