BOLTON College has received a £300,000 cash boost from the European Social Fund (ESF) for training and skills improvement for local employers.

The ESF money is for the Skills Support for the Workforce project which will be overseen through the Skills Funding Agency (SFA).

Its aim is to fund free training and support to help businesses in the town by improving skills in areas which will ensure business growth.

The project will focus on key priority sectors which have been identified by Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Parnership (GM LEP). These include advanced manufacturing, financial and prof-essional services, health and social care, creative and digital industries and eduction.

Account manager at Bolton College Mel Cooke said it would work with local small and medium sized businesses and their staff to enhance their skills in response to the employer’s needs.

She said: “Improving the skills of local people will allow them to become more successful in the job market and advance their career opportunities, with the aim of reducing the risk of long term unemployment and welfare depen-dency in Greater Manchester.”

The funding is only available until August 25 and businesses are advised to make use of the free training while it is available, said Ms Cooke.