The North Wales Business Academy (NWBA) was a project that took place between 2016 and 2021. The overall purpose of the project was to support businesses in North Wales in improving their business performance by increasing the skills of their managers and other employees through the delivery of ‘short’ accredited courses.
The project was funded by the Welsh European Funding Office (WEFO) under the ESF Priority 2 / Investment Priority TO10.
Initially, the project included 4 partners with Grŵp Llandrillo having the Lead role. The partnership included Grŵp Llandrillo (GLLM), Bangor University (BU), Wrexham Glyndwr and Coleg Cambria. In 2018 Coleg Cambria and Wrexham Glyndwr withdrew from the project although Wrexham Glyndwr continued delivering the Young Talent Academy course.
The original scope of the project included all unitary authorities in North Wales but after the withdrawal of Wrexham Glyndwr and Coleg Cambria 2 areas; Wrexham and Flintshire, were removed from the scope.
Business owners and managers attended a 2-day Strategic Business Analysis course which was followed up with mentoring and their completing a skills needs report and business plan.
Individual employees and managers then had a choice of 3-day courses they could attend. All the courses had assignments which were designed to apply and develop skills in the workplace. The courses provided include:
- Social Media Marketing (BU)
- Project Management (BU)
- Financial Management (BU)
- Business Marketing (BU & GLLM)
- Managing / working in Teams (BU & GLLM)
- Train the Trainer (GLLM)
The courses (modules) were accredited by Bangor University and set at 10 credits and were at either Level 4 or 5.
Attendance on the courses was part funded by up to 70% by the European Social Fund through the Welsh Government. The full cost was £500.
The BU courses were delivered at the BU Campus until the Covid-19 pandemic. Between April 2020 and July 2021 all contact was electronic, and the courses were delivered as interactive online sessions.
The overall target and achieved numbers reported in the final WEFO Report of December 2021 show the overall achievement was 68.43% of the 2016 set target. 479 individuals were trained across the whole project.
The evaluation study confirmed a positive impact for businesses and individuals who participated in the NWBA offerings.
The evaluation of the project in 2021 found that Businesses identified a range of impacts the training had on their organisation, the most frequent of which was increased resilience (40%). Businesses also suggested that the NWBA training had enabled them to change the way their business operates (37%), led to better leadership and management (36%), and allowed the company to expand into new activity areas leading to company growth (35%). Further insight to the performance of NWBA is available in a video clip and an Infographic. The links are below.
NWBA Evaluation results Infographic
Videos of NWBA journey in Welsh and English
English version: https://vimeo.com/674875358/a8f97e63b4