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Strengthening and securing the future outlook for the hospitality and nightlife sector with the Skills for Growth – SME Support programme  

Presenting fully funded training solutions for all industries and all futures, including the hospitality and nightlife sector, the Skills for Growth – SME Support programme is working to upskill employees, improve productivity and drive growth for Greater Manchester SMEs. 

Since the 1980’s Manchester (MADchester) has been at the forefront of U.K. nightlife with some of the biggest and best bars, clubs, and festivals in the country, people flock to Manchester globally to dance, eat and drink the night away. Manchester has always been a special place, a cultural beacon of generations of artists, musicians, innovators, students, and workers. As the great Tony Wilson once said “This is Manchester, we do things differently here”.  

More recently, the hospitality and nightlife sector has encountered challenging times because of the pandemic and the cost-of-living crisis. With strong figures such as the Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham and prevalent Night-time Economy Advisor Sacha Lord, there’s been continued focus and attention on the help and support required for this industry.  Businesses are struggling to attract and retain staff with studies between August and September 2022 revealing a decline of 8.3% across the industry (Fourth Hospitality Workforce Report). 



Sacha Lord, Night-time Economy Advisor for Greater Manchester and Co Founder of Warehouse Project and Parklife says: 

 "People are the critical cog for any business and having access to the right talent is crucial in order to be truly successful. For the hospitality sector and its hundreds of different roles, training is imperative and I'm pleased to see how Greater Manchester is being supported in driving talent through the industry. 
I would like to thank Skills for Growth for supporting the industry in this way, which will no doubt go on to benefit hundreds of businesses across the city-region and many thousands of employees."


Skills for Growth – SME Support for the Hospitality Sector  

The welcome addition of a NEW suite of fully funded Security Courses offers an attractive solution for business located within the hospitality sector. The value-added benefit of training can be a catalyst for improved recruitment and retention within a sector that is competing for talent and often loses out due to the nature of shift work, unsociable hours, perceived lack of development opportunities, and effects that overwork and burnout have on the mental health of workers.  

Available now on the Skills for Growth – SME Support Programme these Security courses will increase the capacity, competency and security across the GM Region.  




The Value-Added Benefits – Flexible Learning for Shift Workers  

Participation on the £42 million, GMCA Commission, ESF funded Skills for Growth – SME Support programme will also provide access to:- 

Expert Skills Coaches - this dedicated team will focus on conducting a business analysis to identify the skills gaps and opportunities for growth within the business. They will then work to identify training options available to optimise performance and upskill employees, leading to increased engagement.  

Learning Management System – This exceptional online portal boasts over 2000 training modules on topics relevant to the broad range of roles within the hospitality sector. From Health and Safety, Microsoft Training, Digital Marketing, Leadership and Management and especially Health and Wellbeing., these course options can ensure that every area within the business can learn, upskill and develop.  Learners and especially shift workers have the luxury of accessing bitesize training modules and scheduling their training and enrichment to suit their needs and their shift patterns.  


Patrick Howley of So Let’s Talk Hospitality has this to say on looking after your mental health in the industry:  

“1 in 2 hospitality professionals either have or currently are experiencing ill mental health whilst working in the hospitality industry. These kind of stats show us how important it is to provide education on all aspects of health to the people within the hospitality industry. The Skills for Growth – SME Support platform is one of many great platforms that does exactly that!” 


An All-Encompassing Approach for Hospitality  

At this point in time, the hospitality and nightlife sector can utilise all the different fully funded training options for the entire workforce to drive business growth. 

Leadership and Management Courses


Digital Marketing Courses


Nick Williams, Skills Coach for Manchester, Skills for Growth – SME Support  

“As a frequent patron of many of Manchester’s bars, restaurants and clubs I know the thing that keeps me coming back to a venue isn’t the music or the drink prices, but the atmosphere and level of service provided by the staff. Happy, motivated, and helpful staff are key to attracting new and repeat customers and this starts with their training and onboarding.  
Likewise, a big thing which keeps patrons coming back to club and event spaces is how safe they feel at a particular venue. Having highly trained security staff who are aware of the risks to patrons and themselves whilst being conscientious in their approach goes a long way to make a night-out, a great night-out!”   


Where to start  

To find out more about how we can work with you to equip your business with the Skills for Growth,  please choose from the below three options. 

  • Fill in the expression of interest form here
  • Call us on 0161 237 4444 
  • Send an email to 

Once eligibility is confirmed you will be allocated to a dedicated Skills Coach who will support you and your staff to find the best options available for your needs.) 

(To be eligible you must have a trading address in Greater Manchester, employ less than 250 employees and generate a financial turnover amount below €50 Million).

About the author

Skills for Growth - SME Support

Skills for Growth - SME Support

Skills for Growth - SME Support is a fully funded, tailored service to help upskill your employees and improve business productivity.