Leadership and management

Thriving at Work – Better Connect

Thriving at Work can help your business to recruit and retain staff as well as increase productivity by creating a working environment where all employees can thrive. This project has a particular focus on supporting inclusive workplaces. Flexible delivery is through specialist coaching, mentoring and training as well as lunchtime webinars and 1-to-1 support.

For more information follow this link or contact Emma Lyons, Thriving at Work Programme Manager via elyons@betterconnect.org.uk

For more information, visit: https://betterconnect.org.uk/our-projects/thriving-at-work/

The video below showcases the amazing work done by The Blue Dolphin Holiday Park near Filey with the support of Autism Plus to make their workplace inclusive for neurodiverse staff.

*Thriving at Work is funded by the European Social Fund and is managed nationally by the Department for Work and Pensions.

Careers Enterprise Company

Work with us to connect to your future workforce

We recruit high calibre volunteers from business to support schools and colleges to develop relationships between businesses and schools and to support young people with their career pathways. 

If you are an employer who is looking for a dynamic way to ‘connect’ with young people, then get in touch.

How does it benefit your business?
  • Builds skills and expertise in your employees, managers and leaders.
  • Develop your corporate social responsibility to include an emphasis on education or provide more focus and structure to your recruitment strategy.
  • Boost business and employee moral by making a real difference to the lives of young people through mentoring schemes, work placements and structured projects.

This Programme is part funded by the European Social Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.


Run by The Opportunity Centre the Aspire2lead project can offer management and leadership support to businesses who want to lead by example and adopt gender inclusive policies and procedures with the aim to attract and build a more diverse workforce.

You can get help with:
  • Supporting female staff returning to work from a career break, adapting job roles to provide more flexibility, or offering part-time roles
  • Gender pay gap analysis activities to identify how your business deals with recruitment, promotion and staff development, and tackling specific business challenges/barriers to reduce gender pay issues
  • Organisational Transformation which allows your business to examine and understand the impact of your working practices and environment on recruitment, retention, and progression of women
  • Designing and delivering Sponsorship Programmes which you’re your senior male colleagues with junior female colleagues to champion their progression within your business
  • Tackling Gender Stereotypes- Targeting SMEs in male-dominated sectors to design and deliver on action plans that address gender imbalance issues and increase the number of women within the workforce and in senior positions.

This Programme is part funded by the European Social Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.

Business Scale Up Programme

The Business Scale Up Programme can help SMEs realise their growth ambitions by supporting leaders and managers with flexible and tailored training and coaching that will;

  • Provide online or face-to-face sessions in topics such as improving productivity, leadership coaching and feedback courses and learning when to ‘lead’ your team and when to ‘manage’ it.
  • Support Strategy & Planning systems – to identify performance/gaps, create or review short, medium or long term business goals, develop a strategic action plan to deliver growth with guidance on implementation, roll out and review.
  • Embed HR systems and processes that will enhance your ability to meet regulatory requirements around inclusive and supportive working environments. This includes support with, for example, addressing workplace bullying and harassment, diversity training and effective approaches to performance management. 

In order to be eligible for support through this Programme you must:

  • have business premises in the York, North Yorkshire, East Riding region (Craven, Harrogate, Hambleton, Richmondshire, Ryedale, Scarborough, Selby, York)
  • be a Small to Medium Enterprise (SME): employ fewer than 250 full time equivalent staff and have either a turnover of less than €50 million, or a balance sheet of less than €43 million

Access more information on the website.

40% funding is available towards a range of training and/or consultancy from our Specialist Skills Providers.

This part of the programme is part funded by the European Social Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.

Specialist Skills Support for the Workforce

Specialist Skills Support for the Workforce can signpost your business to expert training, coaching, consultancy and advice to help your business develop the management and leadership skills to take it to the next level, including:

  • Lean Management
  • HR management
  • Team Leading
  • Leadership management

There is dedicated support for:

Succession Planning

Specialist Support for an Ageing Workforce offering support to address current and future shortfalls in skilled labour due to an ageing workforce. Through consultancy, a business action plan is created around a sustainable approach to retaining knowledge in your business and creating progression routes and talent mapping for the workforce. Businesses who can identify mentors to pass on vital knowledge to younger employees can also access mentor training to support this transfer of skills.

“This has given our company a real focus for planning our succession. It is no doubt the catalyst that we need.”
John Taylor, Country Products

This part of the programme is fully funded so free for North Yorkshire and East Riding based SMEs.

Support for Changing Markets

SMEs can access consultancy, training and support to explore expansion into new markets. This could be with an existing or new product or service and both domestic and international markets. It could be due to an expansion to the business or a change in direction or focus.

Support includes dedicated 1:1 time with a specialist consultant, online training materials and a course of four group training modules (currently online but may be in person in future).

Learn more by visiting this link.

This element of the programme is fully funded so free for North Yorkshire and East Riding based SMEs

Want to learn more?

On the CIPD’s website, you can find employer resources on productivity and people management.

This part of the programme is part funded by the European Social Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.

Help to Grow: Management

The Help to Grow: Management course supports managers of SMEs to boost their business’ performance, resilience and long-term growth.

The 12 week programme can be completed alongside full-time work and follows an in-depth curriculum that will help you build your skills in leadership, innovation, digital areas, employee engagement, marketing, responsible business and financial management. By the end of the course, you will have created a business growth plan to help you lead your business to release its full potential.

The cost to attend this course is 90% government funded.

By the end of the course, you will:
  • Develop a Growth Action Plan uniquely tailored to helping you lead and grow your business.
  • Develop your leadership and management skills, enhancing employee wellbeing and engagement in the process.
  • Recognise what drives productivity and growth in your market.
  • Learn how to drive responsible business practices, including creating an inclusive and greener workplace.
  • Understand how to innovate your business model by investing in digital technology.
  • Develop strategies to improve efficiency and save time and money.
For more information on these programmes, get in touch and we’ll connect you to the expertise and resources you need.


Mental Health Awareness Week 2022

9th - 15th May is Mental Health Awareness Week, an annual campaign that promotes open discussions about mental health. In our blog, we've collected some mental health and wellbeing resources to help you create a supportive work environment.